Green oblong pods with ridges, which give off a viscous substance that thickens any dish when cooked. The most common mistake by chefs is to let the pods become too old and tough before using them.
Season: June - November
How to select: Available fresh year round in the Southern U.S.. Look for brightly colored pods under 4 inches long (larger pods are tougher). You should feel a soft fuzz similar to a peach on the skin which should have no blemishes. Avoid okra that is soft, wet, has dark spots on the skin or brown soft stems. Canned and frozen okra is also available.
How to store: Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 3 days.
How to prepare: saute, stew, pickle
Matches well with: basil, butter, garlic, hollandaise sauce, lemon, onions, parsley, pepper, peppers, tomatoes, vinaigrette