Okra is native to Africa and came to the Caribbean and Southern U.S. during the slave trade in the 1600’s. If you’ve eaten cooked okra, then you know it has a slimy texture. However, it’s this texture that allows gumbo and okra stew to thicken. Because of the texture, okra is less appetizing to some, unless it’s breaded and fried.
Well this dish is neither breaded nor fried, but it’s still delicious! The recipe comes from the cookbook, Black Girl Baking, by Jerrelle Guy. The okra is a nice addition to this ooey, gooey dip, a perfect appetizer for date night in or movie night with the kiddos.
Ready in 20 minutes – Makes 2 cups (480g)
To make this recipe you’ll need:
- 12 okra pods
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 shallot, diced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (8-oz [228g]) package cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup (80g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons (28g) mayonnaise (optional)
- 1 teaspoon mild hot sauce
- ¾ cup (90g) shredded smoked Gouda, divided
- ½ cup (60g) shredded mozzarella
- Paprika, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and have two 8-ounce (228g) ramekins or one 16-ounce (455g) ramekin nearby.
Trim the tops off the okra and slice them in half lengthwise and then again in half widthwise. Set them aside.
In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the diced shallot, cooking until it softens a bit, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, the quartered okra and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, for another 3-4 minutes, or until the okra begins to soften slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise (if using), hot sauce, ½ cup (60g) of the smoked Gouda, mozzarella, and more salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the cooked okra and shallots, and then transfer the mixture to the ramekins. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining ½ cup (30g) of Gouda and paprika and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the top gets a little crusty.
Serve warm with your favorite tortilla chips.
Follow this link to see our video on how to make this recipe: “How to Video: Smoked Okra Dip“