Sautéed Callaloo is dish served in the Jamaica typically with salted cod fish or mackerel. Callaloo is served for breakfast, but it can also be served during brunch and dinner. Its origin comes from regions in West Africa. This dark leafy green is sautéed and cooked with onions, green onions, peppers, thyme, and pimento seeds. Pimento seeds, also known as allspice seeds, are indigenous to the island of Jamaica. It’s flavor mimics a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Depending on where you live, fresh callaloo is normally not available. (Maybe if you live in a tropical climate like Florida, you can find it fresh!) If there is an ethnic section in your grocery store, you should be able to find the canned alternative. I tend to buy the Grace brand since it an Jamaican based company.
On any given Sunday, actually nearly every Sunday, my mother prepared callaloo and salt fish for breakfast. She fried dumpling, plantain, and bammy (casava flatbread) to go along with it. Breaksfat was ready for us Sunday morning as my sister, brother, and I recovered from a night of partying together.
Normally I would use scotch bonnet pepper to add some heat to this dish, however, I could not find it here in my local store. I opted to add warmth with red chili flakes. I have to fine a specialty store that carries scotch bonnet pepper. It is one of the hottest peppers known. Passed the heat, it gives food another dimension of complexity with its slight sweetness and subtle fruity flavor.
- 1 can Callaloo
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ green bell pepper
- ½ yellow or red bell pepper
- 1 green onion stalk
- 4-5 pimento seeds
- 1 medium tomato
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- olive oil
- Drain can of callaloo
- Cut peppers length wise. Also chop onion, green onion, garlic cloves and dice the tomato
- Heat a large sauté pan with generous amount of olive oil on a medium-high tempterature
- Saute onions, peppers, garlic, (slice of scotch bonnet pepper) red chili peppers, thyme, pimento seed and tomato together until they soften and lightly caramelize
- Add callaloo and season with salt and pepper. If the pot gets dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to loosen. Sauté callaloo for about 10 minutes
- Serve with salted fish or mix with rice! Enjoy!