It’s Time for Callaloo!

It’s not just fun to say, Callaloo is a leafy green, mineral rich staple in the Carribean diet. While there are many variations from region to region, the ingredients always contain a big leafy green similar in appearance to Kale, onions, scallions, and coconut milk. The ‘name’ of the vegetable is sometimes itself referred to as Callaloo but can be amaranth or taro.Try this variation below for a delicious Jamaican style Callaloo. If you already used up the callaloo, you can substitute greens, like sweet potato or “Asian cooking greens”, in this recipe. Continue reading

Callaloo

It’s not just fun to say, Callaloo is a leafy green, mineral rich staple in the Carribean diet. While there are many variations from region to region, the ingredients always contain a big leafy green similar in appearance to Kale, onions, scallions, and coconut milk. The ‘name’ of the vegetable is sometimes itself referred to as Callaloo but can be amaranth or taro.Try this variation below for a delicious Jamaican style Callaloo. If you already used up the callaloo, you can substitute greens, like sweet potato or “Asian cooking greens”, in this recipe. Continue reading

Good, Good Garlic

by Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot

Everyone knows that garlic is good for you. Garlic cures colds, neutralizes bacteria, repels vampires. A tight fistful of knuckles, a package wrapped in the paper in which it has grown, garlic is a vegetable disguised as an herb.

I love raw garlic. I am not afraid of garlic breath. I will crunch a clove or two of garlic when I feel myself getting sick or pop pickled garlic when I’m craving a spicy, sour snack. And although my husband and I both enjoy minced garlic thrown into a meal at the very end of its cooking, I don’t often subject my dinner guests to raw garlic in a meal in fear that they will think me an insufficient cook rather than an eater who enjoys a little edge.

Hummus serves as the perfect shallow end for safely wading into the idea of eating garlic raw. You can add just a little garlic and still get a decent bite or add a lot and seriously step up the fragrance and flavor of what could be considered by some to be a bland bowl of beige to dip your crackers in.

In keeping with the raw veg theme, I added some of the scallions we got from the Coop this week to my hummus. I’ve made hummus with onion before, but it’s easy to overdo raw onion. Scallions are the perfect solution to this because of their more mild flavor.

Here’s what I used and how I did it:

1large 1 lb 13 oz can + 1 regular 15.5 oz can chickpeas *

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsweetened soy milk or water

juice of 1 medium to large lemon

2 large cloves garlic

3 scallions, chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Drain and rinse chickpeas. Put all ingredients except soy milk or water in the food processor, chickpeas first so that the spices and tahini don’t get stuck to the bottom. I don’t bother chopping my garlic but rather let the food processor do the work for me. Blend until the mix begins to get smooth, then add water or soy milk to add creaminess and finish blending.

So easy! To make things even easier, remember to firmly roll your lemon between your palm and work surface to ensure getting the most juice. And always use a strainer to avoid getting pits in your hummus.

* I like to make a lot of hummus at once, but you can easily halve the ingredients. This recipe makes enough to share with guests while still having plenty left over for the family.

 

Party On My Plate

There’s not a heck of a lot to say about this except it was so good, I made it two days in a row. I am a dirty repeater like that. I found myself rationing out the radishes and strawberries so I’d have enough for more salads. Mission accomplished. Oh, and it kind of looks like a little party, I think.  It’s a very celebratory salad.

The inspiration for this came from So Good and Tasty‘s blog, and I basically took the core ingredients from it, and then did a little tweaking.

Change the proportions as you like, of course.

  • ~2 cups of romaine, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 5 large radishes, quartered
  • 1 scallion, diced (I used white and green parts)
  • 2 tbsp cashews, roughly chopped
  • good handful of basil, thinly sliced
  • mozzarella cheese, diced into small pieces

For the dressing, I mixed together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and grapeseed oil with a pinch of salt and pepper each. I don’t measure a lot, but it’s easy to adjust to taste and whisk up.

So, combine your salad, top with dressing right before serving. I love the sweet, salty, bitter, crunchy combination. Truth be told I can eat the whole thing myself (though it’s probably 2 servings). And the 2nd day I made this, that’s  just what I did.