Full growing instructions given on packet. Sow direct into finely raked moist soil in a sunny sheltered position. Mix seed with sand before sowing to ensure an even spread. Thin the resulting seedlings to 15cm (6") and use discarded seedlings as microveg for salads. Water and feed well then harvest fresh growth after 6 weeks with scissors.
Ideal for beds and borders.
The fresh young greens are eaten all over the Caribbean, India, Africa and South East Asia, in much the same way as Europeans would use spinach. They have a rich, earthy, almost broccoli-like flavour, which is far more exciting than the dull, flavourless greens you get from the supermarket. Callaloo is wonderful in salads and delicious added to soups, dhals and curries. In India the leaves are fried up with garlic and chillies, steamed and seasoned with salt, cumin and red chillies and simmered in coconut cream, turmeric and garam marsala. They are perhaps even more delicious incorporated into some home-made bhajees - onion, cauliflower and red alalloo are my favourite. In the Caribbean the leaves are stewed with onions, garlic and tomatoes, and often feature in the delicious pepperpot soup, a kind of beef stew made with kidney beans, pumpkins and yams, simmered with thyme, onions and tomatoes. In Greece the leaves are lightly boiled, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice and served with fried fish. If you do this with any coloured leaf varieties, particularly the deep red ones, you will find that the pigment quickly stains the water a brilliant hue. These vibrant leaves were used by Hopi Indians in North America as a clothing dye, and works equally as well as a natural food colourant. Try cooking white rice or quinoa in this tinted water for a rich, vibrant e-number free hue. RECIPE:CALLALOO, COCONUT & PUMPKIN SOUP - One of the most popular ways to serve callaloo in the Caribbean is in a comforting coconut and pumpkin soup, spiked with scotch bonnet chillies. Here’s my homegrown take on an old-school favourite. • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil) • 1 large bunch of spring onions, chopped • 3 garlic cloves, chopped • 1 large sprig of thyme • 12 Scotch bonnet chilli, chopped • 1 cup of pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes the size of a dice • 250g smoked ham, cut into cubes • 2 bay leaves • 4 cups of chicken or pork stock • 2 cups of fresh calla