With both Jamaican callaloo (aka amaranth, callaloo, chorai or bhagi) and Swiss chard both in abundance in my garden this summer, I thought I’d combine them both for a delicious vegetarian recipe. Here’s the thing, DON”T for one minute think this will be a bland or petty recipe since you heard me use the word vegetarian. If you’re new to Caribbean cuisine be aware that NO recipe is ever bland. We love bold flavors and our food always reflect the vibrancy of our people.
1 table spoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
6 cups Jamaican Callaloo (trimmed)
6 cups Swiss Chard (trimmed)
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
Notes: You can also use vegetable or olive oil if you don’t have coconut oil.
Wash, drain and trim the Swiss chard and callaloo bush. With the Swiss chard do wash them thoroughly as the ribs of the stem can hide dirt. With the calaloo bush, don’t use any tough stems. Roll into bundles and cut into ribbons/shreds. Also prep the onion (sliced thin) , scotch bonnet pepper (dice), garlic (sliced thin) and tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a deep sauce pan on medium heat, then add the onion and garlic. Turn the heat down to low so we can gently cook the onion/garlic. After 3 minutes, turn the heat back up and start adding the shredded callaloo and Swiss chard to the pot. It may seem as if it won’t all fit, but it will wilt down. Then add the scotch bonnet pepper, salt and black pepper. Top it with the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Now reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for about 20-25 minutes.
If there’s any remaining liquid in the pot at this point, remove the lid, turn up the heat and burn it off. Yea, it’s that simple a dish to put together.
After you turn the heat of, drizzle on the lime (or lemon) juice, top with the chopped tomatoes and cover the pot. Let that sit for about 3 minutes before serving. For those of you who get that sort of itch at the back of your throat when you eat “greens” the lime juice will help with that, plus it will brighten up this dish as well.