Cooking is proving to yourself that you can make something that you don’t like into something that you do.
Strolling through the green market, I spied purple okra.¬† Purple!¬† Okra!¬† Late blooming Not quite the vibrant purple of eggplant, it was billed as “drier than green okra”.¬† While checking me out, the farmer – or his representative – reiterated that characteristic to me and I asked, “Meaning, not as slimy?”
“Well, yeah,” he said with a laugh.¬† “I guess it does.”
I brought the purple beauties home, and cooked them with tomato after saut√©ing them in olive oil, thinking that the purple would look nice against the tomato red.¬† Imagine my surprise when I lifted the lid and discovered that they had changed color!¬† They looked exactly like their green cousins.¬† Eating them was not so similar, however.¬† The drier quality was a dead-on description; they were not as slimy.¬† Call me old fashioned, but I’ve come to expect a little slime with my okra.¬† It’s what makes okra . . . well, okra, unlike any other vegetable.
But if the sliminess, or the mucilaginous (as it’s called) quality of okra, is the only thing keeping you from eating it, then purple okra is for you.¬† The taste is identical.¬† Anything that you can do with green okra you can do with purple.
NEW RADISH PREPARATION
As I mentioned before, I like the idea of radishes much more than I like those magenta orbs of subtle spiciness.¬† Passing a stall piled high with many candidates for saladification, I saw some pickles set out for sampling.¬† One was pickled radishes.¬† I tried one, and it turned me right around on the radish front.¬† The sweet and pungent pickling marinade (just vinegar and sugar) was the perfect antidote to the spice that my palate had found subtle objection.¬† I bought the radishes, and came home and made a batch for Today’s Preparation, proving to myself yet again, how easy it is to turn something you don’t care for into something that you like.
If you don’t peel the radishes before slicing and marinating them, you will have radishes looking more like carrots.¬† The red from the skin conspires with the vinegar and the color ‘runs’, turning my batch into a fluorescent pinkish orange.¬† Pretty.¬† Sweet and pungent and spicy all at once, the vinegar flavor giving the spice a run for it’s money.¬† If you want them white, then peel them.¬† The pickled radishes at the market were combined with carrot slices.¬† They would also be good combined with cucumbers and onions – green for a delicate flavoring, red slices for a more dramatic effect.¬† Drain before serving.¬† Add to salads, put on sandwiches, use in a relish tray, or munch them whenever.
SEE SIDEBAR FOR PREPARATIONS & INFORMATION