Smothered Okra

Smothered Okra

Smothered Okra

Smothered OkraIngalls Photography

Okra is a prized ingredient in Louisiana, particularly for gumbo, where it lends an earthy flavor and serves as a natural thickening agent. Since the fuzzy green pod's growing season is limited to the spring through the fall, resourceful home cooks preserve the vegetable in a variety of ways. Tina Hensgens, who works at the Falcon Rice Mill in Crowley, Louisiana, smothers her freshly picked okra with tomatoes in the summer, and freezes large batches of it so she and her husband can enjoy it year-round.