Looking back I think I originally documented this recipe late summer / early fall last year.. when my garden was loaded with the ‘spinach’ I’m about to use in this recipe. I’m using the word ‘spinach’ a bit loosely, as I’m really referring to several types of greens when I do. I’m a HUGE fan of greens so I usually plant several varieties in my garden every year. I’m told that as a kid on the islands my favorites (bhagi aka greens) were Dasheen Bush (tender leaves of the dasheen plant), Pak Choi and Chorai (Jamaican Callalloo)… mom never had a problem with me eating when she would cook those dishes.
2-3 cups chopped Jamaican Callaloo
2-3 cups chopped Kale
2-3 cups chopped Swiss Chard
1 teaspoon salt (adjust)
1/2 med onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 scotch bonnet pepper
2 cups parboiled brown rice
Important: If doing this recipe gluten free please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.
Wash, drain and trim the different greens (I cut into 1 cm ribbons) and set aside. Don’t use the tough stems of the Jamaican Callaloo (Chorai) and Kale.
In a wide pot/pan heat the olive oil on a med/low flame, then go in with the diced onion, chopped scallions, smashed garlic, black pepper, allspice and thyme. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Start adding all the chopped greens to the pot and stir and add the salt.
It’s now time to add the washed rice (place the rice in a bowl, cover with water and move the grains between your fingers.. the water will go cloudy. drain and repeat until the water is clear. or you can place the rice in a strainer and run cool water over it.. massage until the water runs clear) and mix with everything else in the pot.
It’s now time to crank up the heat to high and go in with the coconut milk and water.
As it comes to a boil, place the whole scotch bonnet on top (don’t break – we want the flavors of the oils on the skin and NOT the raw heat). Stir well, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
It took about 22-25 minutes to cook. Turn off the heat, lid still on and allow it to continue cool/cooking with the residual heat. After about 15 minutes, you can now go in with a fork and fluff the rice. Do remember to remove the scotch bonnet pepper before you fluff the rice to ensure you don’t mistakenly break it. Once broken it will release that Caribbean Sunshine (heat).
An amazing one pot vegetarian rice dish (probably vegan too?) packed with flavors of the islands. Do keep an eye on the level of liquid as it cooks (add more boiling water if necessary) and remember to taste it for salt near the end and adjust accordingly. You can always add vegetable stock instead of water, but be mindful of the sodium level. or go in with chicken stock if not making this vegetarian.