While it may be a Southern staple when it’s deep-fried or served in a gumbo, for most of the population at large, okra is a love-to-hate-it vegetable. Plenty of Chowhounds flat-out love it, though, having discovered a number of delicious ways to serve it.

“My absolute favorite method is to slice it or split it lengthwise, toss in olive oil and [salt and pepper], and broil it,” says valadelphia. “With fresh-from-the-garden okra, this is tops.” Prepped the same way, it can be grilled in a basket. You can also thread whole okra on two skewers (picture a ladder), then sprinkle with oil and Cajun seasoning before grilling, suggests lutherben. “If you like spicy, brush with your favorite hot sauce while grilling,” says lutherben.

It’s easy to create a well-spiced side dish on the stove, as well. Bliss149 sautés okra in olive oil with onions and garlic, adds a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes with chiles, and then lets it cook down and caramelize. “I’ve even had a couple of okra-haters who liked this way because there’s no slime at all,” says Bliss149.

Or, put an Indian spin on it by frying cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, onions, and ginger-garlic paste before adding the okra and finishing with lemon juice. “The spicy, sweet, and sour taste is irresistible, and it all comes together in under 30 minutes,” says JungMann.

It can even become a hearty main-dish stew when paired with legumes, as in this Mediterranean okra with tomatoes and chickpeas, or a Caribbean-inspired recipe with black-eyed peas and greens.

Discuss: Loving the Lowly Okra — recipes?

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