Make Ahead

Savory Smoky Okra Tomato Ratatouille with Drizzles of Honey

October  3, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is one of my 9 year old son’s favorite side dishes to eat with white rice (hey we are from the Caribbean and could eat rice every day); and that is a surprise since he usually, as with many if not most kids,  does not necessarily care for vegetables.  One day I had in the freezer a bag of frozen okras and I decided  to do something with it out of boredom, and this is how this recipe came about. Okra can sometimes have a bland flavor but the combination of  smoked sweet paprika, honey and sesame oil takes this dish to new heights, and even more so with a few more drizzles of honey on the entire dish or on individual servings. However, if you are trying to cut your sugar intake and/or dairies, you can skip the sugar, honey, and heavy cream without compromising the main essence of this dish. —Regine

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound bag of frozen cut okras (but if whole, slice each into 3-4 pieces)
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (i.e., Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes)
  • 2 small to medium onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon each sugar and table salt (sugar optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika (I use McCormick Smoked Paprika)
  • 4 teaspoons honey plus more to drizzle on finished dish (optional if you want to cut on the sugar)
  • 2/3 to 1 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional if you want this dairy free or with less calories)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley (and/or cilantro, basil, crumbled crispy bacon, feta, queso fresco...)
  • 4 small garlic cloves (or 3 medium), crushed
  1. Heat oil over medium heat and add onions, sugar, and paprika. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes. You want the onions soft and golden brown (although it might not be easy to see due to the red color from the smoked paprika); then add the garlic (and Sriracha sauce if using) and stir until garlic is fragrant (maybe 30 seconds). Add the undrained diced tomatoes, okras, and honey. Taste to make sure it's well seasoned since okra can be bland but I think the 1 tsp salt is perfect. Cook covered over lowest heat for 60 minutes, but stir every now and then since you don’t want the bottom to scorch. I find that the okras are more flavorful if "slow cooked" to a soft texture because somehow they get to better absorb the flavors of the other ingredients. Add the sesame oil and heavy cream around the last 15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top of dish. But you can choose other toppings like cilantro, basil, or even crumbled crispy bacon, feta, or queso fresco. Drizzle a bit more honey right before serving. You can even use a wood turner honey drizzler and allow guests to drizzle the honey themselves. I love to serve this with white rice but you can also serve with polenta or grits.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
  • lydia.sugarman
  • Lori

4 Reviews

Regine June 13, 2019
Hello Lydia. Somehow, I only saw your message now. Wow. Many years later. Yes, I agree that the cream, sugar, and honey are basically optional. Thanks! Regine
lydia.sugarman April 25, 2016
Noticed this was entered into a contest for recipes using honey. I make classic ratatouille all the time and you could easily add okra to the recipe. But, personally, the sugar and honey are entirely unnecessary since the tomatoes add their own sweetness, plus it's just unnecessary calories. Same goes for the cream. I'd also reduce the salt by about half.
Regine October 5, 2015
Lori, so happy you loved it. Try it sometimes with a few drizzles of honey. Sriracha hot sauce is good too.
Lori August 25, 2015
Tried this dish today......was fabulous. I added red and green peppers.
I have never cooked with okra before... My neighbor had just given me her end of season yield. I learned the hard way not to use big okra... It was tough and stringy. Can't wait to remake the recipe with new okra!!!