• Bill Neal's Pickled Okra

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    • 2 1/2 lb young okra pods
    • 6 x cloves garlic
    • 6 lrg fresh dill sprigs (or possibly 6 tspns dill seeds)
    • 12 whl small red pepper pods preferably cayenne
    • 3 tsp whole mustard seeds
    • 48 x black peppercorns
    • 5 1/3 c. distilled white vinegar
    • 3 3/4 c. water
    • 3 Tbsp. sea salt, kosher salt or possibly pickling salt


    1. Sterilize 6 pint canning jars and new canning lids in boiling water. Remove from warm water and let them air-dry. (Do not touch the insides of the jars after you have sterilized them.)
    2. Wash the okra under cool running water, rubbing it gently to remove the fuzz. Trim off most of the stems but leave the tops of the pods intact. Using clean tongs, pack the okra pods into the jars, first stem down, then stem up, so which they mesh with one another. Add in 1 clove garlic, 1 sprig of dill (or possibly tsp. of dill seeds), 2 pepper pods, 1/2 tsp. mustard seed and 8 peppercorns to each jar.
    3. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a stainless pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Divide the pickling brine among the jars, leaving a full 1/2-inch of headroom at the top of each jar. Throw away any leftover vinegar-water solution. Do not overfill the jars.
    4. Seal the jars with the lids and rings and process them, completely covered, in a boiling water bath for 5 min. Remove with tongs and set the jars, not touching, on folded kitchen towels. Cold completely.
    5. Store for 6 to 8 weeks to allow the pickles to mature before using them. Store any jars which don't seal in the refrigerator and use within 2 months.
    6. This recipe yields 6 pints.
    7. Yield: 6 pints
    8. NOTES : This regional favorite is from the late Bill Neal, who ran the restaurant Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill and was reprinted in "Beans, Greens and Sweet Georgia Peaches," by Damon Lee Fowler (Broadway, 1998), and published in the Charlotte Observer, 05-30-2000

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    • Summer Thurston Stone
      I just prepared pickled okra almost exactly how it is shown above. I didn't have the red cayenne peppers so I put some red pepper flakes into one of the jars about 1/4 tspn, and then for 2 of the jars I put 1/4 tspn chipotle crushed pepper. I will let ya know in 6 weeks how it turned out. :)

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