I remember hearing the word callaloo for the first time on the Cosby show. I think it was Cliff & Clair’s anniversary and he hired a chef to make her a surprise Caribbean dinner. Poor Cliff wound up in bed with a fever…

Anyway, if you’ve seen the episode you’ll remember Cliff saying to the chef over and over “Callaloo!” It’s a great word, fun to say and it really sticks in your head. That’s why I had to buy a bunch of it when I saw it at the farmer’s market.

It’s a leafy green, click here to see it. I wasn’t too sure what to do with it, as  I prefer my greens not to be cooked forever, so I winged it and came up with a tasty side dish. This is not the traditional cooking method but it was really good, we ate all of it.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Take your callaloo and remove leaves off the heavy stems. Let the leaves soak in cold water for a little bit to remove dirt, swirl ‘em around well, dirt doesn’t like to let go of this stuff. Rinse really well and remove excess moisture.
  2. Saute 2 or 3 pieces of uncured, nitrate-free organic bacon (yup, this stuff actually exists and once you try it you’ll never go back to the other stuff). until almost done, remove and set aside. Keep the bacon grease.
  3. Grab 3-6 cloves of garlic (depending on how you like it) and mince well. Set aside.
  4. Take the pan with bacon grease and put back on the heat on medium.
  5. When heated, add the callaloo and cook until it looks wilted and wet (a few minutes). Add the garlic and stir well. Cook until you like it, I prefer it to stay green than get overcooked and slimy.
  6. Chop up the cooked bacon & throw it back in with the greens, mix well.
  7. Add a shake or sprinkle of some salt and/or your favorite hot sauce and serve.

Callaloo’s got lots of nutrients, loads of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron, it’s also ridiculously low in calories. Now I know why Cliff was so excited, it’s tasty stuff.

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