While we didn’t have ‘spinach’ readily available on the islands when I was growing up, mom did her thing with dasheen bush (leaves), chorai (Jamaican callaloo) , pak choi and other ‘greens’. After moving to Canada and not being able to find that stuff I grew up eating on the islands, spinach quickly became my friend. I’ve confessed before that I have a definite weakness for any and all greens, so this is something I cook on the regular.
1 lb baby spinach
2 cloves garlic (diced fine)
2 scallions (chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust)
1 bird’s eye pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup coconut milk
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Wash and drain the spinach. (feel free to use a salad spinner if you have one)
Heat the coconut oil (feel free to use any oil you like) on a low flame in a wide pan, then add the garlic, scallions and black pepper. With your heat on LOW, cook for 3 minutes (don’t burn the garlic please) then add the Bird’s Eye pepper – whole.
You can start adding the washed baby spinach at this point.. it will seem like a lot at first, but it will wilt down quickly. After all the spinach is added, top with the salt and freshly grated nutmeg and turn the heat to med/high. Do NOT cover the pan. Stir well, then add the coconut milk.
As it comes to a boil, stir well and don’t cover the pan or it will spring too much liquid. Now here’s where you’ll personalize this dish. Check for salt and adjust accordingly and cook to the texture you like. I like all the liquid GONE, so I cooked it for about 7-10 minutes. Don’t break the pepper, unless you want the raw heat.
As I turn the heat off I like to squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice.. this helps to prevent the sort of itch one can get at the back of your tongue when you eat spinach or other greens. A quick and tasty vegan sidedish, you and your family will crave after having it.