We've been covered up in cucumbers, dealing with a ton of tomatoes, and processing a peck of peppers. It's the time of year when the garden is in full swing -- but so is work. There is so much to do and not a whole lot of time available to do it. Still, we pick vegetables, and we're compelled to roast, pickle, ferment, and freeze the best of the season so that we can enjoy homegrown everything all year long.
That's not the only advantage to having a farmer in the family. We also get a great supply of vegetables to eat fresh. Okra is one of our favorites. It's great oven-fried, pickled, in gumbo, and as we recently discovered thanks to our friend Jennifer Chandler's book, Simply Grilling
(Thomas Nelson, 2013), we now know that it's also stellar grilled.
We took her method and twisted it a little by switching out the Cajun seasoning for Ethiopian berbere spice and dipping the grilled okra in some thinned ricotta, which is similar to the fresh cheese served with Ethiopian dishes. This is a simple winner when okra appears in your C.S.A. or your friendly neighbor drops by with a pint or two from his bumper crop.
Berbere-Spiced Grilled Okra With Ricotta
Preheat the outdoor grill to high. In a large bowl, toss the okra with the oil and vinegar to coat. Thread okra onto skewers and season generously with the berbere spice and salt. Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side or until well marked by the grill grates. Remove from the grill and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and milk until well incorporated. Serve okra next to the thinned cheese mixture for dipping. (Serves 4 as an appetizer.)
*Make your own using Marcus Samuelson's recipe and omit the salt.