Baked Okra in Tomato Sauce
Okra is a dish hated by children because of the hairy texture, but loved by adults who learn to acquire a liking for them and accept their peculiar appearance and composition!
1 1/2 lb small okra (no longer than 3 inches), tops trimmed
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium onions
6 ripe tomatoes
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
pinch of sugar
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Preheat the oven to 90°C.
- Place the okra in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 tbsps of salt, drizzle with the vinegar and toss well.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rinse the okra under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Coarsely chop the onions.
- Finely chop the parsley.
- Grate the tomatoes.
Increase the oven temperature to 200°C.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil and sauté the okra in two batches over high heat until it starts to color, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to the baking dish and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil to the skillet and sauté the onions over medium heat until translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, Aleppo pepper or pepper flakes and salt to taste and cook until the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.
- Add all but 3 tablespoons of the parsley and the sugar. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding some black pepper, if desired.
- Pour the sauce over the okra and bake until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved 3 tablespoons parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serve with crusty bread and feta cheese.