- Prep time 12 hours
- Cook time 35 minutes
- Serves 4
As more and more U.S. chefs embrace growing their own food, true farm to table dining continues to cement itself as a growing trend in the culinary landscape. One chef that has been well ahead of this trend is James Beard Nominee and Food & Wine Award-Winning Best New Chef of 2020, Chef Niven Patel, who has been growing his own produce for all his critically acclaimed restaurants for years.
Chef Patel’s two-acre farm, Rancho Patel, is located just up the road from some of his most popular restaurants in Miami, Florida, including long standing favorite Ghee Indian Kitchen, Coral Gables hidden gem Mamey, and Orno, a new concept that debuted October 2021 inside the THesis Hotel.
Patel starts every morning walking the farm. When he first purchased the property seven years ago, only lychee trees lined the perimeter as well as a sole mango tree. Now the multi-acre property boasts a unique lineup of fruit trees and vegetables, all grown organically, including ones curated from Patel’s extensive collection of seeds and saplings that he has brought back from his travels around the world. Farm to table ingredients that can be found on Rancho Patel include makrut lime, jackfruit, seedless white guava from Thailand, mamey, starfruit, papaya, curry from the Grand Cayman Islands, cucamelons, ginger, eggplant, carrots, romano beans and heirloom tomatoes as well as various fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
But it's his okra dish, now available at Orno Restaurant in Miami, that is his favorite. It's a simple dish that illustrates just how good the vegetable can be. Okra sometimes gets a bad reputation since many home cooks don't know how to prepare it. If it's not cooked directly after its picked, it can be woody. Other times, depending on the preparation, it can be slimy. The recipe below showcases the delicious flavors of okra, which is perfect for the season. According to chef Patel, everyone should love okra. Make this dish at home or stop into Orno Restaurant at THesis Hotel in Coral Gables, FL to give it a try!
okra, trimmed and cut in half
tomatoes (fresh or canned)
Fleur de Sel
garlic cloves, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh sprig of basil
- Line okra on a pan and leave at room temperature overnight (12 hours). This will help dry it out and get rid of the okra's slimy texture.
- The next day, prepare your roasted tomato and lemon sauce. I In a bowl add tomatoes, garlic and shallots along with 2 tbs of olive oil. Add salt and cracked pepper. Toss and put in a sheet pan.
- Roast at 350F for 25 minutes.
- When it’s ready add zest of one lemon onto tomato mixture and squeeze the juice. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Take okra left overnight and put in a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper.
- Grill both sides of okra until charred.
- Toss back into a mixing bowl and add tomato mix. Finish off with fresh torn basil. Enjoy.