Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to take a minute to honor a special vegetable that oftentimes gets overlooked. Known for its richness in nutrients and antioxidants, superb deliciousness, and Southern ties, let’s go ahead and celebrate with an Ode-to-Okra Bake. Woo-hoo! This dish gives the heart-healthy veggie the spotlight and adds in a few more tender veggies, fluffy rice, and Cajun seasoning to really make this a fun and tasty time. Who knew we were missing out on something so amazing?! Here’s to the Ode-to-Okra Bake… may we never again forget how yummy it is!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted, plus more, to taste, for greasing the baking dish
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced, plus 2 cloves garlic, pressed, divided
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh okra, trimmed and cut into 2-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 French bread slices, cut 1-inch-thick
  • 2 (8.5-ounce) pouches microwavable basmati rice

Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2 –Use the extra butter to grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Step 3 –In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the oil and the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until it is golden-brown, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 4 –Add the onion, the celery, the bell pepper, and 2 teaspoons of the minced garlic to the flour mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Also Read:  Fiesta Dip

Step 5 –Add the tomatoes and their juices, the vegetable broth, the okra, the corn, the Cajun seasoning, and the black pepper to the vegetable mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Step 6 –Reduce the heat to medium and cook the okra mixture, stirring occasionally, until it has slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Step 7 –In a small bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and the remaining pressed garlic and mix to combine.

Step 8 –Brush both sides of the French bread slices with the garlic-butter and place them on a baking sheet.

Step 9 –Bake the coated bread slices, flipping once, until they are lightly golden, about 3 minutes per side.

Step 10 –Place the toasted bread slices in a food processor and process until they are coarsely crumbled.

Step 11 –Microwave the rice pouches on high power, according to the package directions, until they are slightly undercooked, about 2 minutes.

Step 12 –Spoon the rice into the prepared baking dish and top with the okra mixture and the breadcrumbs.

Step 13 –Bake the okra bake until the breadcrumbs are golden-brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Step 14 –Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let the okra bake stand, about 10 minutes.

Step 15 –Serve.