Pickle a Peck of Dill Okra

After removing the jars from the canner, they
are placed on a cooling rack.

   Pickled Okra is a nice addition to a relish tray, great to set out at a cocktail party, a wonderful veggie addition to a Bloody Mary bar, and it makes great stocking stuffers! That’s right – I did say “stocking stuffers.”
     When our nephews, Daelyn and Jeremy West, were young they loved the stuff so their grandmother, Fern West, always made a point of canning lots of jars, and she always saved a few to add to their stockings each year. And, yes, she easily pickled a peck, or more, of dill okra each summer (a peck is equal to a quarter of a bushel = 8 US quarts or 8.81 liters). Pickled okra certainly recalls fond memories in the West family.
     All pickled okra recipes follow a standard format and although this one varies slightly from Fern’s Dill Okra, it is basically the same with a few additions (peppercorns & mustard seeds). Although okra is what is termed a “low-acid” veggie, the addition of vinegar makes it suitable for the water-bath canning method.   
      For detailed instructions and guidelines for safe home canning, from jar sterilization to choosing the right canning method (water bath vs. pressure cooking) to testing jar seals, go to the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving.

Pickled Dill Okra   Yield: 4 pint-sized jars
2 pounds young, small to medium okra pods
4 small dried chiles, split in 1/2
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
4 sprigs fresh dill or about 4+ teaspoons dried dill weed (or use dill seeds)
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
¼  cup kosher salt
2 cups white or rice wine vinegar (rice wine is a bit milder & sweeter)
2 cups water

1. Wash the okra and trim the stems so that just about ½” of the stem is left.
2.  Place 1 chili, 2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 sprigs of dill, 1 garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns in the bottom of each of 4 sterilized pint canning jars.
3.  Divide the okra evenly among the 4 jars, standing them up vertically, alternating stems up and down.
Jar on the right has been filled with the flavorings; cleaned & trimmed okra
has been added to the one of the left.
4.  In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, bring the salt, vinegar and water to a boil. Once boiling, pour this brining mixture over the okra in the jars, leaving ½ ” headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid. Remove air bubbles by running a knife down the edges of the jar. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Screw bands onto jars. Note: Any leftover brine can be refrigerated and used in the next batch.
Jars have been filled with the "brine" and are ready for the
addition of lids and screw tops. 
5.  Process using the water-bath method: Pints jars: 10 min. @ 0-1,000 ft. / 15 min. @ 1,001-6,000 ft.  / 20 min. above 6,000 ft.. 

Jars are ready to be lowered into the boiling water. Since this recipe makes only 4 pints, I am also processing a  batch of pickle relish at the same time in order the conserve fuel and energy.  

1 comment:

  1. Meta, I just pinned your page so that I can make sure and come back to this recipe when I get enough okra to pickle. I love pickled okra and even eating the pickled garlic and chilies along with the okra! Can't wait.