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Fennel & Coriander Okra

Fennel & Coriander Okra

Nothing really beats starting your weekend off with a visit to the farmer’s market. A leisurely stroll, coffee in hand, perusing the freshest local goods from the people who actually grew it with their own two hands. It’s all music to our ears. We are pretty dang lucky that there just happens to be a weekly market right next door to us, Morningside Farmer’s Market, every Saturday morning year round. It is the only farmer’s market that requires all the produce to be certified organic.

The only daunting thing about going to an organic market is .. what are you going to do with your goods when you get home? You want to be inspired by the produce you see but that requires spontaneity, a willingness to take a risk buying something without knowing a recipe. Without knowing the perfect thing to do with that produce to honor the ingredient.

Enter: market chef demos! Well, one specific chef demo to be exact. Our own Chef Chad had the pleasure of doing a demo at Morningside Farmer’s Market a couple weeks back. Afterwards he came home (to Whiskey Bird) with some beautiful okra from Crystal Organic Farms and created a dish that takes the guess work out of cooking okra for us. PRAISE.

Fennel & Coriander Spiced Okra Recipe

1 lb okra burgundy and green half and half, preferably)
1 red onion thinly julienned
1 pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes halved
4 oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp fennel and coriander spice blend
¼ cup herbed crème fraiche
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp picked dill fronds

Fennel & Coriander Spice Blend
2 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp whole coriander seed
2 teaspoons Szechuan pepper corn (black peppercorn will do)

Spice Blend Preparation: Toast in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F degrees. Cool completely. Grind in spice grinder until smooth. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Herbed Crème Fraiche
8 oz Crème Fraiche
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped tarragon

Okra Preparation:
1. In large cast iron pan, heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add Okra cut side down on medium high heat. You want to get a good sear/char on the okra, about 5 minutes. Add 4 oz butter and 2 tbsp of Fennel & Coriander spice mixture. Saute for another 3 minutes. Remove from pan and put in a mixing bowl.

2. Put pan back on the heat, add red onion, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 pint of halved cherry heirloom tomatoes, and cook on high heat to char tomatoes, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to charred okra mixture. Toss well.

3. Plate the tossed okra and tomato m. Drizzle crème fraiche mixture over the top along with extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp chopped chives, and picked dill fronds.

If you decide to cook this recipe, please share with us! You can tag us @whiskeybird on Instagram or send us a picture via email to morningside@eatwhiskeybird.com.

// Photographs courtesy of T. Brodnax and Morningside Farmer’s Market //