As with my strawberry top pesto (https://food52.com/recipes...), this recipe was developed to find a use for the entirety of a product, in this case, large, overgrown okra. Find my method for okra "couscous"—as well as for making a cornstarch-like thickener from the pods—here: https://food52.com/recipes...
Our farmers are our friends and we take the responsibility of using their products very seriously. To waste any part of it, even something widely recognized as "trash" is a disservice to them, and something I cannot bring myself to do.
The GA olive oil is the closest olive oil to NC that we've found produced. To keep with our concept we buy it from a local olive oil shop. With its notes of fresh grass and pepper, it's obviously the perfect oil for a pesto such as this one.
We use OBX Sea Salt. Amy Huggins Gaw and her husband John do such amazing things with salt on the coast of NC, using fire to help the salt evaporate. It has such a rich umami flavor, way more to it than just "salty". It's the perfect way to get just that little bit extra out of almost any recipe. —Clark Barlowe
fresh lemon balm, plus additional 8 to 10 small leaves for garnish
okra seed "couscous" (see link in headnotes for method)