Pickles with Patrick

Pickling has been a long time coming. My friend Patrick shared a story including his Quick Pickled Okra recipe over Memorial Day week in Wrightsville Beach. Ever since, I’ve been waking up in the nighttime with this on my mind (ok, I’m exaggerating). Then, Patrick selfishly went on a month long summer vacation and left me behind wondering if I would be able to make them before the season changed (very sarcastic, as I could have just done this on my own). I waited patiently – even giving Patrick 24 hours home before nagging again. He graciously caved, came over Saturday morning to pickle – and even brought the okra and vinegar.

Patrick made this recipe for Alice Waters last year when she visited in honor of the opening of the Greensboro Children’s Museum Edible Schoolyard. If it is good enough for Alice – it is surely good enough for Mendenhall. This recipe is painless and lacks very little patience (since I obviously have none) – they are ready in just 24 hours and just delicious.

Patrick’s Painless Pickled Okra

3 pound of okra will make 4 quart jars. we used the extra brine to make a couple jars of cucumber pickles.

  • 1 pound okra
  • 6 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups distilled wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7-8 crushed juniper berries (available at the Harris Teeter)
  • scant teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (you can add more to make them extra spicy)

Rinse okra in a colander.  Add 3 tablespoons salt and toss to combine.  Let okra drain in sink about 10 minutes.  Put remaining ingredients plus 2 cups water into a non-reactive medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolved.  Rinse okra under cold running water to remove salt.  Transfer in a large nonreactive bowl (or jars).  Pour brine over okra.  Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.  Best in 1 or 2 days.

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