Tomatoes are in season and so is callaloo, so I decided to make up this stew for lunch.
According to Anan Lololi, founder and Executive Director of the Afri-Can Food Basket in Toronto, callaloo is hard to find in grocery stores.
Lucky me, I was able to buy it directly from Afri-Can Food Basket at my farmer’s market.
Read more about Afri-Can Food Basket.
Callaloo is a green leafy plant that has been grown and consumed in the West Indies, namely Jamaica, Haiti and Trinidad, for many, many years.
It’s very similar to spinach, although I find it’s not as sharp as spinach. It’s smoother and rounder in taste, with a bit of a creamy taste. It’s often cooked with olive oil and garlic, as you might cook spinach.
But it’s also cooked with spices. Read spicy – hot spices!
Callaloo is high in iron – twice the amount of broccoli and is high in calcium – 4 times the amount of broccoli. It’s a good source of vitamin C and is great for your immune system as it’s rich in antioxidants.
If you haven’t tried it before, now’s the time – there’s plenty at the market!
NutriSue’s Callaloo Stew
a big bunch of callaloo – washed, stems removed, julienned
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 can of beans, rinsed and drained – I used cannelini beans, but you can use your favourite beans; chickpeas would be good too!
1 medium sized sweet potato – peeled and diced small
2 small peppers – I used a green one and a purple one. Use what you have and like – chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup green beans – I used purple beans, which turn green when you cook them – ends removed, steamed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
knob of ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp five spice (cinnamon, anise, fennel, clove, black pepper)
just shy of 1 tbsp green curry paste
pinch of chili flakes
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional) – I like the contrast of sweet with spicy!
- On medium heat, in a large saucepan or skillet, add 1 tbsp coconut oil and saute the onions, peppers, garlic and ginger.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate, now add the 5-spice, chili flakes and curry paste and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomato and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and add the can of beans, diced sweet potato and cranberries.
- Add a lid and let cook until your sweet potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Finally add the julienned callaloo and green beans and gently incorporate into the stew, just to wilt the callaloo and heat the beans.
- Serve in a bowl over brown rice or as is.
And the leftovers are even tastier!