Okra Gumbo

okra gumbo

On a cold winter day, nothing warms quite like gumbo. And in the heat of summer, gumbo is a great way to stir together so many flavors at their peak of ripeness — tomatoes, peppers, and of course, okra. We had such a bumper crop of okra last summer that I blanched and froze some for later. This gumbo was just as good made from frozen as it had been the many times last summer I made it fresh.

Inspired by Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound local, spicy sausage
  • 1 large onion, halved and cut into thick slices
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh okra, trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 4 cups chopped tomato (canned is fine; no need to drain)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves (optional)
  • Can also add peppers, spicy or green; celery or green beans
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish


  1. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausage, prick it with a fork a couple times, and cook until golden brown on all sides. Transfer the sausage to a cutting board.
  2. Add the onion (and peppers or celery if using) to the hot pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and turning golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the sausage crosswise into rounds. Remove the cooked onions with a slotted spoon.
  3. Add the remaining oil to the pot and stir in the okra. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown a little, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, stirring once or twice. Return the sausage and onion to the skillet and add the tomato and green beans, along with a cup of water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.