It’s hot. We haven’t had a lot of heat this summer, but the past few days have been seriously toasty ’round these parts. I always assume that as soon as the calendar flips over to September, Mother Nature will get the memo and turn the thermostat down, but she never seems to co-operate. Craig and I had our wedding reception at the end of September a few years ago, and it was 95°! I was seriously regretting my big, fluffy taffeta dress that day.
Anywho, even if the thermometer doesn’t look like it, we are closing in on fall and with that comes lots of yummy, yummy fall food! I love fall food. I love slow-roasted root veggies and creamy squash soups and tons of fresh rosemary and sage.
I’m not ready to whip out the winter squash quite yet (after all, our butternuts are still growing out the garden), but I did go as far as making a cozy, comfy, rosemary-infused potato side dish the other day.
Because I can’t entirely quit summer yet, I also threw in a bunch of sliced okra. I know there are a lot of okra haters out there, but I ain’t one of them. Man, I love okra. I love the flavor, I love the texture, I even love the slime (especially when it works so well to thicken up soups, stews and chowders). If you’re afraid of the okra slime, don’t worry, this dish is 100% slime-free. Here, sautéing the okra in thin slices cooks the slime out and leaves you just with earthy, soft, caramelized pieces of okra goodness.
We’ve got okra coming off at a pretty good clip in our garden right now (Silver Queen variety, in case you were curious), so I just trekked down to the garden, pulled out my knife and sliced off a few pods for this side dish. If you aren’t growing your own, right about now is when farmer’s markets around the country will start having nice piles of okra kicking around. Although, admittedly, since we’ve had such a cool summer here in the Midwest, okra might be a little bit harder to find or pricer. Okra loves, loves, loves heat—we can grow it pretty well here in Southern Indiana, but in the Northern parts of the state, it’s a struggle—and with the cool weather, it isn’t producing the way it usually would.
Anywho, we actually turned this side dish into an entree by topping it with a couple of poached eggs (we’ll top almost anything with a poached egg), but this would be an awesome Sunday supper side dish. It’s so cozy and comfortable. I can see it going alongside some roasted chicken and maybe some sautéed greens. YUM.
It does look like I might get to pull out my boots and scarves later in the week (especially since I’m heading to Minneapolis this weekend for the Healthy Living Summit, where it promises to be much cooler than Southern Indiana). And I thoroughly plan on eating all kinds of yummy, fall-inspired foods (and probably a Pumpkin Spice Latte or two).
Bacon, Okra, and Potato Hash
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Makes: 4 side-dish servings
- 2 pounds new potatoes, quartered
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound okra, tops removed and sliced thinly
- 1 large sprig rosemary, finely minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fill a stock pot with potatoes and water, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. OR place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high in microwave for 5 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, cook the bacon until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon, crumble and set aside.
- Add in the garlic to the bacon grease, and cook until fragrant and tender, about 3 minutes. Add in the potatoes, okra, and rosemary and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes and okra are browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add in crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper.