Are you bored with spinach, or kale or looking for a new way to prepare it? Here is a vibrant and fresh way of making kale, spinach and definitely using this Amazing vegetable- Callaloo.
If you have never heard of Callaloo, I would say it is what some West Africans Countries call greens. That’s the only way, I ever heard anyone call these leafy vegetables until, I moved to the United States. And there it is disguised as Callaloo. Also widely known in the Islands as Callaloo in the Islands.
For those that are curious and want to know more it belongs to the Amaranth family.
Be on the look out! It is one of those vegetables that easily gets mixed up with other vegetables – especially cocoyam /Malanga leaves and even spinach.
I am super excited that it is readily available in most Caribbean Markets, and quite a few other markets . There is even an Indian market – walking distance from my place, that sells fresh Callaloo. Yeah, lucky me!
What I enjoy most is the different ways you can whip it up; in stews, soups, stir fry and even with rice – it is quite versatile.
Here it is prepared- Jamaican style, slightly steamed, quick, easy . Spiced up with , thyme, garlic and smoked paprika- Simple. And Simply delicious! Convenient for weeknight meal.
Switch out the bacon for smoked turkey, chicken or omit completely , for a vegan meal.
Although Callaloo is usually serve with dumplings and boiled plantains, I prefer pan-fried plantains- a healthy variation on the usual fried plantains . Plantains are deep-fried in a significant amount of oil. This version is equally as delicious, without the excessive calories.
- 1 bunch of fresh Callaloo, kale, collard greens (about 11/2 pound)
- 2 thick bacon strips cut in pieces
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium onion
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 fresh tomato
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3- 4 ripe plantains
- cooking spray- or very little cooking oil
- Salt and pepper (optional)
- Cut leaves and soft stems from the callaloo branches, them soak in a bowl of cold water for about 5-10 minutes or until finish with prep.
- Proceed to slicing the onions, mincing the garlic and dicing the tomatoes. Set aside
- Remove callaloo from water cut in chunks.
- Place bacon on saucepan and cook until crispy. Then add onions, garlic, thyme, stir for about a minute or more
- Add tomatoes; scotch bonnet pepper, smoked paprika. Sauté for about 2-3 more minutes.
- Finally add vegetable, salt, mix well, and steamed for about 6-8 minutes or until leaves are tender. Add a tiny bit of water as needed. Adjust seasonings and turn off the heat.
- Using a sharp knife cut both ends off the plantain. This will make it easy to grab the skin of the plantains. Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain; peel only as deep as the peel. Remove plantain peel by pulling it back.
- Slice the plantain into medium size lengthwise slices and set aside.
- Coat a large frying pan with cooking oil spray. Spray the tops of the plantains with a generous layer of oil spray and sprinkle with salt, freshly ground pepper.
- Let the plantains "fry" on medium heat, shaking the frying pan to redistribute them every few minutes.
- As the plantains brown, continue to add more cooking oil spray, salt and pepper (if needed) until they have reached the desired color and texture.
- Remove and serve with callaloo