Fish Baked with Dried Okra

Okra is very popular on Crete. Like most Cretans, Christoforos Veneris, whose recipe this is, dries his okra in the sun before cooking it_._

Fish Baked with Dried Okra Fish Baked with Dried Okra
Okra is very popular on Crete. Like most Cretans, Christoforos Veneris, whose recipe this is, dries his okra in the sun before cooking it.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 12 lb. okra, stems trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 (2-3 lb) whole grouper, red snapper, or other firm, non-oily fish, cleaned and scaled
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 12 cup Cretan white wine, or other dry white wine
  • 4-6 stems parsley, leaves chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°. Toss okra with vinegar in a large bowl, set aside for 5 minutes, then arrange on a large cookie sheet in a single layer. Dry okra in oven, with oven door slightly ajar, for 1 hour, shaking cookie sheet halfway through baking time to turn okra over.
  2. Meanwhile, cut fish crosswise into 3”-4” thick steaks. Put into a large bowl, including head and tail. Add lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well, cover, and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
  3. Heat oil in heavy medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until soft, about 8 mintues. Add garlic and okra, stir gently, then add tomatoes and wine. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until okra is just tender, 25-30 minutes.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 425°. Put half of the okra and sauce in a large ceramic baking dish, arrange fish and any accumulated juices over okra, then spoon remaining okra and sauce over fish. Cover and bake until fish is cooked through, 30-40 minutes. Uncover, baste fish and okra with pan juices, add parsley, and bake for 5 minutes more.