Although this relish makes the most of the summer bounty of okra, I use canned tomatoes here, as my mother did, for their bright red color and intense flavor. But you can absolutely use fresh heirloom, vine-ripe or even cherry tomatoes instead; simply swap them out for the same weight as the canned ones.
And if you have regular raisins and don’t want to make a special trip for golden ones, you can use them here too, but I prefer the lighter, less murky taste of golden raisins in this summery relish.
Cut the okra pods in half lengthwise, then cut them in half crosswise so you have 4 pieces from each pod.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the okra, onion and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook, covered slightly and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, vinegar, raisins and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra starts to fall apart and the mixture is thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Let the relish cool to room temperature, then transfer to a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate at least 1 day before serving. The relish will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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