Here in South West Florida gardening during the summertime can have many obstacles. The extreme temperatures make it hard to grow many vegetables but one that strives even in the heat is the okra. If you plan on gardening in the summer you may be already brainstorming ways to cook these tasty vegetables. One of my personal favorite ways to cool down in summer is to bite into a juicy pickled okra. Much like regular pickles they have a salty crunch that hits the spot on a hot day.
If you are looking for easy recipe to start learning the ins and outs of canning than pickled okra is the way to go! Once you have the starting tools to begin canning the okra the prep and cook time only takes about an hour total. I chose a recipe for spicy pickled okra but you can skip the pepper if you don’t have the pallet for spicy foods.
What you will need
Large Canning Mason Jars (pint sized)
Large Enameled Pot
Canning Pressure Cooker Pot
Tongs or Lid Magnet
Fork or Spoon
The first step to canning is to always sterilize the jars and lids. This is done by boiling the lids and jars in a large pot prior to canning. This not only cleans off any dust or small debris but more importantly it kills any microorganisms that may be residing on the jars. After boiling for ten minutes the jars and lids can be pulled out with a tong. If you can frequently you may want to invest in a lid magnet and jar clamp to make this process easier. The boiling water can become quite an obstacle when you only have a tong to remove the items. Once removed from the boiling water set aside to dry for later.
2 pounds of okra (2-3 inches in length)
1/2 tsp Whole dill seed
1 quart white vinegar
6 tbs kosher salt
1/2 tsp Pickling spice
8 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Yellow mustard seed
1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper
Once you have harvested enough okra soak them in a bowl of salt water. This will extract any bugs that might be hiding in your future snack. Cut down the stem of the okra leaving about 1/3 of the cap. Next make sure okra is clean by rinsing under cold water. The okra then needs to be cooled down so you must soak them in a bowl of ice water for about an hour.While your okra is soaking, mix all spices together in a small bowl. Once mixed distribute the seasonings equally into your jars. Peel the garlic cloves and distribute those evenly as well.
In your large pot bring vinegar to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. The next step is to place the okra into the jars. You want to pack the okra as tightly as possible. The reason for this is because you don’t want any okra floating to the top after the vinegar is added. If okra floats to the top during the pickling process then they will not soak up the flavor properly. Make sure as you pack okra in the jars they are at least a ½ inch from the jar lip. This leaves room for air once you add the vinegar. After the okra are packed into the jars tightly pour the boiling vinegar into the jars. Make sure to fill the jars just enough to cover the okra.
After make sure that there are no bubbles in the jar. Once the jar is full excessive bubbles can cause the jar to break. I use a spoon or fork handle to push okra further into the jar and dislodge bubbles at the bottom.Next screw on the jar lids but too tightly because this can also cause jars to break as pressure increases. Boil water in the canning pressure cooker pot. Place okra jars into the boiling water and let sit for ten minutes. Remove jars from boiling water and let cool. Let jars mature for at least 48 hours before consuming. If the okra are too strong in flavor after pickling you can pour out some of the liquid in the jar and replace it with water. Let the okra soak in the diluted mixture and try again in 24 hours.
This post was based off a modified version of Emeril Legasse’s Spicy Pickled Okra Recipe
For more information on growing and taking care of okra visit: