“My grandmother always made callaloo with dasheen bush, also known as taro. Sometimes she would use a whole crab for a sweet-and-salty flavor. When she would visit us in Massachusetts, she would replicate the dish with frozen spinach in place of dasheen bush. The greens in the dish provide a variety of micronutrients as well as carotenoid antioxidants. I’ve made my own version with the greens that are available to me by combining Chinese broccoli and kale, which yields an earthy yet spicy callaloo.”
2 ham hocks (optional)
⅓ cup avocado oil
⅓ cup diced fresh chives
1 onion, finely diced
2⅓ cups coarsely chopped pumpkin
1 (13½-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups okra
½ bunch Chinese broccoli, stems and florets separated
½ bunch kale, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 habanero pepper
pelau, for serving
1. If using the ham hocks, place them in a large bowl covered with water, cover with a dish towel, and soak them overnight. After 8 to 12 hours, discard the water and set the ham hocks aside.
2. In a heavy-bottomed 8-quart pot, add the oil, chives, onion, and ham hocks. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until golden brown.
3. Add the pumpkin and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the coconut milk and salt as well as 13½ ounces of water (use the empty can as your measuring cup) and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
4. Add the okra, Chinese broccoli stems, kale, and bell pepper and cook for 15 minutes.
5. Add the Chinese broccoli florets and habanero pepper. Reduce the heat to low, taking care not to burst the pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
6. Carefully remove the pepper and ham hocks from the pot. Use an immersion blender to blitz the veggies until they are a thick stewlike consistency.
7. To serve, spoon the callaloo onto a plate with the pelau.
Recipe from Eating from Our Roots. Copyright © 2023 by Maya Feller. Photography copyright © 2023 by Christine Han. Published by goop Press/Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Reprinted with permission.
Originally featured in 3 Nourishing Trinidadian Recipes from Nutritionist Maya Feller