This is a story about chance meetings and Roasted Okra, Eggplant and Tomatoes. I stumbled upon a beautiful market stand in front of the Franklin Whole Foods on Sunday night. I love Whole Foods for allowing various farmers to bring their products and set up a stand outside in front of the store.
It was a moment of good fate for both of us, as I was looking for fresh, local kale and they had just picked it that morning. They were looking for their last customer to take it as it was 7:00 p.m. and they were packing up.
There is something that reaches my soul when I can talk to the person who was responsible for my food from the seed to the money exchange and they want me to love what they have grown as much as they do. One look at the way they carefully arranged their table with burlap decorations and food in pretty baskets, I knew they were special folks, and I would have to purchase more than kale.
But, okra, please not okra. I don’t know this vegetable very well and my experiences were never good ones.
.Everyone knows about the potential slime inside. They sweetly assured me that if I cut it according to their directions and roasted it with some baby eggplant and maybe even some cherry tomatoes, I would be able to see okra in a different light.
They were so committed to me wanting to experience okra in a good way, I was offered to take some home to try at no charge. How could I not want to try okra now. However, I insisted to pay (which was mere pennies) and bought baby eggplant and some cherry tomatoes. I left with a fond memory of the time they took with me, even though they were anxious to pack up and go.
I followed their cutting and roasting instructions, and to my surprise the last of the summer vegetables created a delicious dish seemingly more Autumn. I used fresh thyme from my garden, but I could see a bit of sage or rosemary making its way into this dish too.
Everything about this story encapsulates my viewpoint about food. It’s more than eating. It’s an understanding of the commitment that begins at planting of the first seed and ends at the passion to transform the harvest into something delicious and life giving. And, if along the way, friendships are formed and the prepared dish still resembles the freshly picked crop, life feels right, balanced and good.
Roasted Okra and Eggplant is super easy and makes a wonderful side dish. You can further amp it up by adding in some roasted potatoes.
This is not so much a recipe as an approach, but still worthy to share with you.
You Might also like these eggplant recipes from Spinach Tiger
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- 10 okra
- 5 Baby Eggplant
- 3 garlic cloves
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- olive oil
- sea salt, black pepper
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- dash of balsamic vinegar
- Chop off tips of okra and eggplant
- Slice okra crosswise
- Slice eggplant down center and then crosswise in same size as okra. If okra, cut in half is 2 inches, match the eggplant and cut in 2 inch pieces.
- Arrange in shallow baking dish with 3 cloves of garlic.
- Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Roast for 10 minutes. Toss. Add in tomatoes. Roast for another 10 minutes, checking at 5 minute intervals. You may need more or less time.
- Toss with a dash of balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
- Salt and pepper to taste.