One of my favorite things that we got at the farmer’s market the day we made quinoa salad was fresh okra. I’d never cooked with it before, but my mom used frozen okra to make gumbo all the time when we were growing up, and it was one of my favorite things she made and I wanted to try to cook with fresh gumbo.
The inspiration for this particular dish came from asking Jay what he wanted for dinner, and suggesting “risotto, or we have fresh okra too.” Jay said “okra in rice sounds good,” which was totally not what I meant, but when your man says he wants rice and okra, you make it.
Risotto takes about 40 minutes to make, but it is VERY simple and really just requires that you stir with one hand while you drink wine or scotch or beer or whiskey or moonshine with the other. I’m basically helping you work on being ambidextrous, so you’re welcome for that.
I love risotto of all forms, and this turned out even better than I thought! Now, traditional gumbo usually has andouille sausage in it, and you could definitely add any kind of cooked sausage you like to this – yum! I used just shrimp because, per usual, that’s what I had.
For this dish, which serves four, you’ll need:
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2-3 cups liquid (I use half chicken stock, half water for money and salt content issues)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup tomato juice or 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- fresh or frozen okra
- 1/2 chopped onion
- chopped tomatoes
- tomato paste
- crushed red pepper
- cajun/creole seasoning (we’ve discussed before that I don’t know the difference)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- cooked, chopped shrimp