You can find a mix of hearty greens in just about any typical African, Caribbean and southern American meal. Being from the South, I became accustomed to seeing the bottle of vinegar with chile peppers settled at the bottom on the table next to the salt and pepper and a condiment called chow chow pickle. These condiments were used to kick up your greens. You will find these add punch.
Caribbean Sides & Salads
Inspired by Louisana’s popular Cajun dish of “dirty” rice, this variation has all the potency and flavor you could expect but omits the pork and the chicken livers, which traditionally give the dish its characteristic color. Perfect accompaniments are hot cornbread and baked pears. Minted iced tea or lemonade balances flavors.
While candied yams are a typical side dish in soul food cooking, combining them with plantains, a Caribbean and African favorite, and seasonal apples, which are plentiful at this time of year, makes for a delicious side dish or dessert. Black-ripe plantains are very soft and sweet and are generally used in desserts.
This fragrant rice pilaf goes especially well with Indian, Asian, and Caribbean entrées. It’s so good and so simple, though, you’ll probably find yourself making it often to accompany weeknight meals.
Callaloo refers to amaranth, a leafy vegetable cooked the same way greens are cooked in the southern United States. For a similar taste and texture, we made the dish using a half-and-half mix of collard greens and spinach.
Serve this dish on its own or with steamed rice.
When buying ripe papayas, look for firm (not hard) fruit with a yellowish rind that has no spots or bruises.