We recently thinned out our okra in order to give them more space to grow. In doing so we were left with a large pile of okra greens. Rather than just compost them, or feed them to the chickens, we decided to investigate the cooking properties of okra greens. We found a few recipes and web pages which mentioned using the greens as a thickening agent for stews, soups, and other dishes.
Young okra leaves
However, we could not find anything about cooking the young greens, so we decided to experiment! Here at home, we sauteed them with onions as you would with other greens, and they were delicious! We also sent some greens home with a friend where she made a curried bean and vegetable dish with the greens and put it over rice. Her observations were that while the stem of the young okra greens had a slimy texture when you broke the leaves off, the greens themselves were very much like spinach. One of our hestitations with how much to use and how to use it was a warning we found which read "first to goo and then to glue!" Judging from our experiments, this must be referring to mature okra leaves. The young okra leaves did not act as a thickening agent. They have a pleasant taste, and were a great addition to our meals!