smoky pickled okra

You could say I've gotten really into canning this summer.  I think it's similar to how Benjamin feels about brewing beer.  Sure you can buy most things on the shelf already made, but often it's much more fun, rewarding, and downright tasty to make them yourself.

At the beginning of the summer I signed up to bring some pickled veg to the big summer potluck, a conference I'd been to before.  I saw some recipes I wanted to try so this gave me the perfect opportunity to have a deadline and make them.

Right here are the smoky pickled okra that we made.  My favorite part about these is that they got rave reviews as a great way to use smoked paprika.  Thing is, they use regular paprika!  They do taste a bit smoky and are a fun addition to any barbecue or bloody mary.

I only have one jar left of these which will probably consumed sooner than later.  A girl from Ohio, I hadn't really had okra until last summer when we grilled it.  That was delicious, but now this is another way I've found I can enjoy this interesting and potentially slimy veg.

Recipe thanks to and loosely adapted from Rachael Ray

Makes 4 pints

Ingredients You'll Need:
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns
  •  2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 lbs. small okra, rinsed and trimmed
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1.  In a saucepan bring 2 cups of water, the vinegar, salt, paprika, peppercorns, sugar, cayenne, and mustard seeds to a boil.  Stir over medium heat until salt is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  

2.  Divide the okra and garlic among 4 hot sterilized 1-pint jars, alternating stems up and down for space.  Ladle in the hot pickling liquid, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace and seal the jars with sterilized lids and rims.  Always use new lids.

3.  In a water bath canner, process for 15 minutes at a rolling boil.  turn off the heat, sit for 5 minutes then remove the jars onto a dish towel and don't touch for 24 hours.  Make sure the seal is set then store them away!

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