Greens, leafy green vegetables, are a big part of the African cuisine. Whether it is morogo in Botswana, kontomire in Ghana, muriwo in Zimbabwe or sukuma wiki in Kenya, greens are an essential part of most African diets. Back in the motherland, it is not uncommon to come across greens such as chomolia, covo, pumpkin leaves or rape/rabe. Out in the West, kale is often the number one choice.
Greens are typically prepared with onions and tomatoes. Simply saute an onion in olive oil and add a chopped tomato once the onion is translucent. Follow by adding 200 grams of kale and 100 to 200 mls of chicken or vegetable stock, less liquid if the leaves are young and tender (no liquid if using baby spinach).
There are variations to this dish. Some would prefer to use only onions and the greens with a little salt and butter. Perhaps some carrots would be added for colour. Others will add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter before adding the tomatoes and leaves.
If we stick with the basic ingredients, kale, onion, a little carrot and remove the heat factor from this process, we are left with our beloved greens turned raw. How about a little bit of kale slaw?
I remember my mother, a lovely Ghanaian woman with a hearty appetite and knack for delectable cooking, would make coleslaw and include raisins and grated apples at times. I have used memories of her recipe as inspiration for my kale slaw.
1/2 red onion or 1 small shallot
1 crunchy apple
Handful of raisins
Small handful of curly leaf parsley
For the dressing:
5 tablespoons reduced fat salad cream
5 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 tablepsoon white wine vinegar
Juice and zest of 1/2 clementine (or small orange)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Finely shred the kale leaves and add to bowl. Kale is commonly available in most supermarkets in a pre-washed, pre-chopped packet. This kale is sometimes tough, so pick out the thick bits of centre stalk before shredding.
2. Grate the carrots and apple. Finely chop the red onion and parsley. Add these plus the raisins to the kale.
3. Whisk together the salad cream, yoghurt, white wine vinegar, juice, zest, salt and pepper. Mix into the slaw ingredients. The result is a lusciously creamy and refreshingly crunchy combination.
Serve chilled. If you prefer, add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard to the dressing.