Peppery Okra with Lemon Basil Dipping Sauce


  • Cheesecloth or coffee filter
  • 1 (32-oz.) container plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 pounds fresh okra, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garnish: freshly ground pepper


  1. Line a wire-mesh strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Place strainer over a bowl. Spoon yogurt into strainer. Cover and chill 24 hours. Remove yogurt, discarding strained liquid.
  2. Preheat grill to high heat – 400 to 450 degrees. Combine strained yogurt, basil, lemon juice, minced garlic, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Toss okra, olive oil, and remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper together in a large bowl.
  4. Grill okra, covered with grill lid, high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer okra to a serving dish, and serve with dipping sauce.


Leah Beckett