Experimenting with a new-to-me vegetable!
Move over spinach, beet greens, bok choy and Swiss chard, because there’s a new game in town. Callaloo – the leafy green part of the taro plant, sometimes called dasheen bush – is quite possibly the most delicious sautéed vegetable ever. High in potassium and calcium, callaloo is popular in Jamaican and Trinidadian cuisines. While callaloo is also tasty steamed then dressed with a little salt, butter and lemon or vinegar, sautéing the tender greens with a little bit of extra seasoning makes for a extra special treat.
- 1 bunch callaloo to yield about 4 cups (1 L) of packed leaves
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) olive oil
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped sweet or regular onion
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
- generous pinch of pepper
- hot sauce such as Camille Desjardins’ Peach Vidalia
- Remove the toughest stems from the callaloo leaves and discard. Place leaves in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit 10 minutes then drain off the water and fill the bowl again. Let sit until ready to start preparing dish (up to 6 hours).
- Drain the callaloo and give the leaves a good shake to remove excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside.
- In a large sauté or saucepan, melt the butter. Add olive oil and onion. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until onion is softened.
- Add the callaloo, thyme, water, salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for about 5 – 7 minutes, until the stems of the leaves are just tender, being careful not to overcook (you don’t want the leaves to turn brown).
- Serve immediately, with hot sauce on the side.
Makes 3 – 4 servings as a side dish; can easily be doubled or tripled if you have a pot large enough.