Today we’ll be using two of my favorite ingredients in a combination similar to how our mom would do bhaji (dasheen bush) and salted fish (salt cod) when we were kids. With a little heat from scotch bonnet peppers and with a wicked garlic/onion base, it will be outstanding. And very quick to put together.
1 med onion
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch spinach
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1 cup pre-cooked shrimp.
Note: You can leave out the scotch bonnet pepper if you’re concerned about the heat (it’s minimal) and do try to get tiny pre-cooked shrimp as they tend to be “sweeter” as we say in the Caribbean.
This is a very quick recipe as spinach cooks really fast and the shrimp is already pre-cooked.
Heat the oil on a medium flame and add the diced onion and garlic. Turn the heat down to low and let it cook (soften) for about 3-4 minutes.
Wash and drain the spinach, turn up the heat to medium high and add the washed spinach. Top with the black pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and salt. Add the shrimp (I would recommend giving them a rinse in cool water and drain before adding to the pot) and give it a good stir. Do not cover the pan (you don’t want to create any additional moisture). It will quickly start to wilt and darken in colour.
Here is where you’ll personalize it a bit. When it’s cooked to your liking (about 3-4 minutes for me) turn off the stove. Remember to taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
Note: The spinach will naturally release liquid, so you may have to turn up the heat on your stove to burn that off quickly and not over-cook the spinach.
There’s enough here for 3-4 people as a side dish, so feel free to add more spinach if you’re cooking for a bigger party. Simply adjust the salt! If you can’t source spinach, Jamaican callaloo (or chorai bhaji) would be a good substitute.. just cook longer to soften.