Week 35: Okra

30 Aug

Last week was Restaurant Week here in Boston and Andrew and I took that opportunity to hit up EVOO in Cambridge (near Kendall). I’d heard great things about it and knew that it had just recently moved to this location, so I was eager to give it a try.

For those of you who don’t live in a city that participates in Restaurant Week, it’s a designated week when lots of restaurants offer a 3-course price fix dinner menu for $30.11 (lunch is $20.11). Restaurants love it because it gets people out to try their restaurant (and ideally come back again soon) and people love it because they get great food at a terrific price at some of the best restaurants around.

Usually Restaurant Week menus just have three choices for each section of the menu – three appetizers, three main courses, and three desserts to choose from. But EVOO had a ton of options (the host told us that that is their regular price-fix menu so they still use it for Restaurant Week). What I loved about EVOO is everything is local and super fresh. On the side of the menu, they tell you exactly where the food you are eating came from, so I knew the tomatoes in my appetizer salad had come from Kimball Farm in Pepperill, MA.

For my entree, I chose the seared sockeye salmon. It was served atop buttermilk mashed potatoes and included crispy onion slices on top.

The mashed potatoes were amazing. The crispy onions were totally like fronions (in a good way!). And the salmon was flaky and perfect. The tomato-y sauce worked perfectly with both the potatoes and the salmon and I was jazzed because it had okra in it, which I’d never had:

I first heard of okra when I saw the Sundance short, Mr. Okra. It’s a great short documentary about a man in New Orleans who sells fresh vegetables around the city. My former co-worker, who is from New Orleans, had also told me to try okra.

About.com says okra may have been brought to the US centuries ago by African slaves. It’s available year-round in the south and “can be served raw, marinated in salads or cooked on its own, and goes well with tomatoes, onions, corn, peppers, and eggplant.”

The okra in my salmon/mashed potato/crispy onion loveliness was just terrific. I’ll definitely be looking for other ways to incorporate okra into my meals and fried okra is a must for sure.

For the dessert course Andrew got salted chocolate-caramel tart with raspberries and whipped cream (too salty!) and I got the blueberry-peach crisp with almond-oat topping and sour cream ice cream (delicious – I wish I hadn’t been so full!).

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2 Responses to “Week 35: Okra”

  1. Elizabeth August 30, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Kim – that looks like an amazing meal from start to finish! I’ve never been to EVOO, maybe we can plan a date the next time I am in Boston? And your former co-worker seems like a really smart person! 😉

  2. Travis Coggin (@TravisHTX) October 11, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Fried okra is the bees knees! Give it a try sometime.

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