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Okra is a delicious, versatile vegetable, great for thickening Gumbo but equally tasty as a side dish. Try this easy-bake recipe for stuffed tomatoes that includes okra, ham, and rice. It is delicious on its own or as a side dish to grilled fish or chicken.
This delicious side dish is a tasty way to use up some of those fresh, ripe tomatoes from your summer garden. Try serving with grilled fish or chicken its delicious. Add a dash of Cajun Spice to jazz it up, if you dare!
1 pound fresh okra, sliced with stems removed
1 stick butter OR 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped ham
1 cup cooked rice (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper or your favorite salt free Cajun seasoning to taste, if desired
4 large, round tomatoes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and dry the tomatoes. Create a base (so that the tomato won't roll over!) by cutting a thin slice from the stem end of each tomato. Carefully scoop out the pulp from each tomato, leaving enough to form a nice shell. Invert tomato shells and allow the excess liquid to drain. You can place the tomato shells on a pie pan or dish to keep the tomato juices from running all over your countertop! Chop the pulp, and set aside.
Melt the butter (or heat the olive oil) in large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced the okra, onion, and ham and stir to thoroughly coat in butter (or oil). Cook until the vegetables are tender and the ham is hot. Add the reserved, chopped tomato pulp and the parsley; heat through. Add salt, pepper, and optional Cajun seasoning, to taste.
Remove vegetable mixture from heat. Add rice and chopped parsley and mix well. Check the seasonings and adjust, as necessary. Carefully stuff the tomato shells with the vegetable and rice mixture. Bake in a heat proof dish for 15 20 minutes or until heated through.
How to Cook Rice
Okra Evangeline is a great dish for using up leftover cooked rice. If you need to cook rice, cook at least 1 cup of raw rice (makes 3 cups cooked). Use your favorite recipe or use the recipe below. Leftover cooked rice is easily reheated in the microwave.
For short-, medium-, or long-grained rice, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of rice and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for 15 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and allow to cool until the rice is warm to the touch. Fluff the rice slightly with a fork, to separate the grains, before adding to the vegetable mixture.