Callaloo is a large leafy green grown in Jamaica. I find it at a Jamaican market, but you can easily substitute, turnip greens, collards, kale or whatever greens you like.
Callaloo and collard greens require a good hour of cooking in order to tenderize the leaves. Turnip greens and Kale only take about 15 minutes or so of cooking.
I like to use the bags of cleaned and chopped greens found at my grocery store, but you can use the whole, unprocessed bundles of greens if you like.
- 1 large bundle or bag of greens
- 1 smoked turkey wing, cut into large chunks (you can substitute smoked turkey neck, smoked ham hocks or smoked pig tails if you prefer)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 quarts of water
- 1/2 pound salt pork or bacon, cut into a small dice
- 1/2 can unsweetened coconut milk
Bring a large pot of water to boil and then turn the burner to medium low. Add the turkey chunks, diced onion, pepper flakes, vinegar and a few good cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Let this simmer for at least an hour, but I like to simmer it for most of the day. Don’t let it boil, keep it simmering.
After the stock has simmered, add the greens and stir to incorporate.
If you are using the cleaned, chopped greens from the bag, you can just toss them in. If you are using whole, unprocessed greens, rinse them several times. Remove the tough stems and rough chop the leaves. Then add the leaves to the pot.
While the greens are simmering, fry the salt pork or bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
With a large slotted spoon or tongs, scoop out the greens and place in a serving bowl. Add the coconut milk and stir to coat the leaves. Garnish with the crisp salt pork or bacon.
I love greens cooked this way, but I’ve learned I love them even better without the coconut milk and salt pork garnish. I love just the greens cooked with the smoked meat. Try it both ways and see what you prefer.
Don’t you dare throw out the cooking water! For an amazing soup, let it simmer until it cooks down to about a quart. Remove the smoked meat. If some of the smoked meat can be removed from the bone, do so. Chop it up and add the meat back to the stock. Add back your leftover greens or add a fresh batch of greens and simmer until tender. I like to add a little chopped kielbasa sausage to the mix. And if you want a gumbo style soup, add some shrimp. Wowee, I don’t know which you will love more, the greens or the soup made from the leftovers!