50 year old gardening enthusiast Devon stays close to his Jamaican roots by growing Caribbean food in his garden: “I grow red peas, pumpkin, runner beans bean shoots and Callaloo.”
Callaloo is a leafy green vegetable, similar to spinach. Devon says “my friend grows it and I get the shoots from him. I love it, it contains a lot of iron and it’s nice with saltfish, and bacon. Oh my I want to eat some right now!”.
Devon grew up in Jamaica and came to Bristol in 2000 with his family. “I remember walking home from school and smelling the chicken and frying fish my neighbour would be cooking for dinner. Oh my! That smelled so sweet and nice, I’d rush home and ask my mother – “please start cooking!”
Devon learned how to cook as a child by watching his mother in the kitchen “when I was small I’d practice cooking in a milk pan – it’s a really easy thing to learn in Jamaica”.
Devon’s love of Jamaican cooking and food have given him a passion for healthy eating that has stayed with him through his life and travels: “I love cooking with fresh food. I eat lots of greens, plantain and okra, beans and pulses and stay away from red meat. I love my dumplings and I love cooking them. I start my day with Caribbean porridge – it’s made with boiled cornmeal.”
Here is Devon’s recipe for Callaloo:
1 bunch of Callaloo leaves
Knob of butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 glove garlic, crushed
- Cut the stems off the Callaloo leaves, wash and roughly chop them
- In a frying pan, melt the butter and fry the onion until soft
- Fry the garlic for a few seconds, then add the Callaloo, and tomato.
- Fry until just cooked – the Callaloo is soft, but still a rich green colour
Serve with the traditional Jamaican dish of ackee and saltfish. Also tasty served with potato, rice or bread