A southern take on eggplant parmigiana using fresh summer okra instead of eggplant.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 45minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 1hour15minutes
Author Christin Mahrlig
1(14-ounce)can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1(6-ounce)can tomato paste
1/4cupchopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2poundsfresh okra pods,each about 3-4 inches long
1cupseasoned bread crumbs
1/3cupfreshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2cupsshredded Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes. Add oregano.
Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley. Sauce will be thick. You can add a little water if you wish to thin it some.
Cut off cap end of okra pods and cut pods in half lengthwise. Combine bread crumbs and flour in a pie plate.
Dip okra pods in egg and then roll in bread crumb mixture to coat.
Add enough Vegetable oil to a large skillet to coat the bottom with about 1/4-inch oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add half the okra and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. (Okra will burn easily. Turn heat down some if it is browning too quickly.) Drain on paper towels and immediately season the okra with some salt. Add more oil to skillet and cook remaining okra.
Coat bottom of prepared baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Layer 1/2 the okra in the dish and top with half of the tomato sauce. Repeat layers. Top with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned.
Use okra that is no bigger than 3 to 4 inches long. Larger okra will be too fibrous.