When I go to the Debe farmers market on Sunday I am guaranteed to find an assortment of freshly-picked vegetables, constant offerings include, pumpkin, bodi, melongene, ochroes, carailli, pak choi, bhagi, callaloo bush, cauliflower and, of course, the regular tomatoes, herbs, some provisions depending on seasonability, plantains, salad ingredients and loads of fresh fruit.
I’m scratching the surface here, because in addition to the items above you can find any other item, from honey to potspoons, dahee to roucou, clothing to mixing bowls, local coffee to cocoa nibs.
If fresh veggies are what you are in search of, like me, this is the place to come. Sometimes I am guilty of buying too many veggies and shamefully, may not use them all up before my next visit, I know I’m not alone here.
Having some varied vegetable recipes will help you to eat more veggies and create less waste! Here are some to add to your collection. Happy cooking!
1 cup cooked rice
1 medium-sized eggplant
¼ cup olive oil
1 tomato diced
1 green sweet pepper diced
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped fresh mint
or 1 tsp dried
½ tsp cinnamon
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Cut the eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the meat leaving about ½ inch meat around the shell.
Dice the eggplant meat.
Place the eggplant shells cut side down in a large skillet with about ½ inch boiling, salted water.
Cover and steam for about 3 minutes. Drain and reserve.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan, add garlic and onion, sauté until fragrant.
Add eggplant and sauté.
Add tomatoes, cinnamon and sweet pepper. Add cooked rice and stir to combine.
Add salt and black pepper. Stir in mint and taste and adjust seasonings.
Divide mixture into two and stuff into eggplant shells.
Drizzle with remaining olive oil.
Place in a heatproof casserole dish; add about ¼ inch water. Bake in preheated 350F oven and bake for about 30 minutes until shells are tender.
Serves 2 to 4
Sensational pumpkin gratin
2 lbs pumpkin, peeled and cut into one inch-chunks
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pimento peppers, seeded and chopped
½ hot pepper. seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped fresh herbs
2 tbs flour
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup milk
salt and pepper
½ tsp grated nutmeg
For the gratin:
½ cup dry bread crumbs
1 tbs olive oil
½ cup grated cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley
Lightly steam pumpkin for about 6 to 8 mins, until cooked but firm.
Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion, garlic, peppers and herbs, sauté until fragrant.
Add flour and cook for a few minutes.
Combine stock with milk. add to pot and stir until thick, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Lightly butter a glass baking dish, place pumpkin and pour sauce on.
Combine all ingredients and sprinkle onto pumpkin.
Sprinkle with gratin and bake until bubbly.
Cornmeal crusted ochro
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup cornmeal
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
Coconut oil to fry
Wash ochroes and pat dry.
Place flour in a plate.
Combine cornmeal, cayenne and salt in another plate.
Dredge ochroes in flour, then dip into egg and dredge in cornmeal.
Fry in hot oil until golden and tender.
Drain on paper towels and serve.
Sauteed carailli (bitter melon)
1 lb carailli, cut into ½ inch pieces. Seeds removed
4 onions, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
2 pimento peppers, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs vegetable oil
½ hot pepper
Optional: Salt carailli. Leave for about 20 minutes then squeeze and rinse under cool water.
Heat oil in saute pan, add onions, pepper and garlic, saute until fragrant, add carailli and hot pepper if using.
Cover and cook, adding only a small amount of water to prevent sticking.
Cook until tender about 15 minutes.
Pak choi in oyster sauce
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 bunch pak choi, washed and cut into one-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, sliced
2 tbs oyster sauce
½ tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
Combine oyster sauce with cornstarch and sesame oil set aside.
Heat oil in a wok, add onion and garlic, sauté to fragrant.
Add pak choi and sprinkle with salt, cook uncovered until pak choi springs water,
Add sauce and cook until liquid is thick and pak choi remains bright green.
So not overcook.
Serves 4 to 6