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In Season: Okra

Cookbook author Matt Moore offers a recipe for stuffed, pickled okra.

Written By:  Erin Byers Murray

Photographers:  Supplied

In Season: Okra

“If my last meal was a bowl of gumbo filled with okra, I’d die a happy man,” cookbook author Matt Moore laughs.

The son of a cattleman and grandson of a butcher, Moore recently released his latest book, The South’s Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection (Oxmoor House), and, in it, offers a recipe for stuffed, pickled okra, plus much, much more. As the title suggests, the book is about pork butts, or what Moore analogizes as “the drummer on stage: No one is really paying attention to it, but it’s doing a lot of hard work and keeping time for everyone else. We wanted to shine a spotlight on a cut of meat that’s not traditionally celebrated.”

Moore traveled across the South, visiting pitmasters from Texas to North Carolina, collecting their meat-whispering secrets, plus recipes for a ton of sides, desserts, and trimmings.

“This recipe combines all that I love: fatty flavor with a crunchy acidic component,” he says.

You can use the recipe for pickled okra from the book—or Moore also suggests picking up a jar of Phickles pickled okra from a small-batch producer in Athens, Georgia. “They’re super crispy, super crunchy—a great match to counterbalance this very traditional pimiento cheese,” he adds.

Pimiento Cheese -Stuffed Pickled Okra

Two of Matt Moore’s favorite indulgences join in one harmonious marriage made in heaven. Serves 16.

1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded (4 cups)
7-ounce jar diced pimientos
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced bread-and-butter pickles
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 dashes hot sauce
Pickled okra pods
Garnish with smoked paprika


1. Stir together the shredded cheddar cheese, pimientos, mayonnaise, pickles, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and hot sauce in a medium bowl.

2. To serve, cut the desired amount of pickled okra pods in half lengthwise. Gently scoop out the seeds. Spoon the pimiento cheese into the okra halves.

Excerpted from The South’s Best Butts by Matt Moore. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House.Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved. Photos courtesy Time Inc.

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