Plantain-wrapped Callaloo

For the callaloo:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound fresh local callaloo, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped seasoning peppers
  • 2 small tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the tomato sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 4-6 basil leaves, chopped

For the plantain:

  • 6 ripe plantains
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For the callaloo

Remove the small branches with leaves from the main stem of the callaloo. Roughly chop the leaves and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a medium-size skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onion and garlic, stirring until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers, seasoning peppers, thyme and tomatoes. Stir for another 2 minutes.

Add the callaloo, salt and black pepper. Cook over medium heat until the calloloo is tender and completely collapsed, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the tomato sauce

In a deep sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.

Add the tomatoes, tomato juice, thyme and basil and simmer covered on low for 45 minutes, until thick.

Set aside.

For the plantain

Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice plantains lengthwise into1/4 inch strips.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil. Pan fry the strips for 2 minutes a side,
until golden brown.

Transfer with tongs to a drying tray, set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.

To serve

Shape the plantain strip into a circle, and gently place about 2 tablespoons of the callaloo mixture inside the centre, using a toothpick to secure. Repeat with the remaining plantain strips. To serve, spoon the hot tomato sauce onto a serving platter, top with the plantain wrapped callaloo, and enjoy! For a little added kick, drizzle with some balsamic cream.