Callaloo, a luscious green stew made all over the Caribbean, is one of *those* recipes. It’s like chili in the US; everyone lays claim to having the “best” version. And every version was made by someone’s mama, so you best not mess with it. This version is made by Ava’s mamma – me. But.. unlike those other recipes, feel free to mess with mine. After all, I’m a novice Callaloo maker and still have a lot to learn.
Given the limitations of supplies around these parts, I went ahead and made a few substitutions, all clearly noted.
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 green onions, sliced
ham bone (salted pig tails are traditional, but I had a bone leftover from my Christmas ham)
1 lb baby spinach (use dasheen/taro leaves, if you can find them)
1 can coconut milk
1 coconut can of water
1/2 lb okra
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (about a sprig)
1/2 lb lump crabmeat (whole crab is traditional)
Add coconut milk and water to a large pot. Heat over medium.
Pile on baby spinach. It will cook down into the liquid.
Add onions, garlic, and green onions…
Don’t forget some okra and habenero.
And a healthy bit of thyme.
Add a ham bone – but, by all means, wait until there’s a bit more room in the pot. That’s what I did.
Simmer, covered for about an hour.
Remove the ham bone and pulse a few times with an immersion blender
(Traditional recipes call for “swizzling” the soup with a special rod called a “swizzle stick.” They use it much like a whisk and it breaks the soup down and leaves a somewhat coarse texture)
Stir in the crab meat. Season with salt & pepper.
Cook another 15 minutes, then serve over rice with macaroni pie or some beautiful bakes.