It's one of my favorite times of year: okra season! Most people find it odd that as a southern Californian, I have a love for okra that most native southerners don't even have. There's something about the texture that I love and it's so versatile: it's delicious fried, as an ingredient in soups, and roasted.
It's the roasted version that seems to throw people the most. Okra has a bad reputation for being...I'm just going to go ahead and say it...snotty. When you cut through it raw, there is a certain sliminess and it's hard to believe that that's not an issue when you cook it, but it does go away and you're left with delicious, crispy, almost french fry-like okra.
I don't know where my mom picked up on roasted okra, but she introduced it to our whole family a few years ago and now I'm hooked.
Here's what you do:
Get a big bag of okra wherever you can find it. Choose the medium-sized pods as much as possible: the big pods can be a little woody and the small pods can be tiny.
Give them a rinse, then slice them lengthwise down the middle.
Toss with salt and pepper and olive oil, then put them on a cookie sheet in a single layer (in our case we put them on a grill sheet), then roast in the oven on 400 for about 20-30 minutes (until they're golden brown and starting to get kind of shrivelled up looking).
Take them out of the oven, top with fresh parmesan cheese and serve.
Try this, and then come back later and tell me how much you love it.