Sunday, July 4, 2010

O, Frabjous Day!

Our new housemate, Sara, picked up a large free sample of the Caribbean green callaloo at the Davis Square farmers' market (did we mention we can see it from our house?) on Wednesday.

Callaloo is the name of both a traditional dish and the green used to make it. A callaloo preparation might include such exotic (for improvisatory weeknight cooking, anyway) ingredients as chiles, ham, pumpkin, okra, coconut milk, and seafood.

There are several leafy greens called "callaloo," but the name seems to be most commonly applied to amaranth, a plant usually grown for its protein-rich grain. (Most of the "amaranth" recipes I found were for breads.)

My opinion? It's one of those sturdy greens, common in regional cooking, possibly eaten for its prevalence rather than its deliciousness (cf. collard greens, dandelions). They're best cooked for a long time (and possibly with bacon/ham/pork, if you swing that way).

We steam-sauteed ours with red onion, edamame, and a spoonful of hoisin sauce. (Recently we did collards the same way, with onion, garlic, and hakurei turnips, greens and all.) Not bad, and it's a quick side of greens.

CSA relevance? Well, a little bird tells me that Enterprise Farm is supplying callaloo locally.

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