No matter which country you belong to, there’s always one recipe that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Whenever your senses catch the whiff of this recipe, you swoon in nostalgia and reminisce over all the good times that you have had in this fleeting adventure we call life. A traditional Haitian Legume dish is one such preparation. Compact with nutrients, each slurp of this stew has your body thanking you for the avant garde nutrition you put into it. Let’s just say that you thank your body for all its hard work with this stew.
Although authentic traditional preparation requires patience (especially if you bring in meat) the rich Haitian legume recipe often has an instant pot version which is the most popular for its sheer simplicity of preparation. Added vegetables like eggplant, cabbage, spinach and carrots all lend their unique flavor profiles to the stew which turns out to be nothing but goodness. As we all know, Haitians love their meat be it seafood, beef or pork. This mostly leaves little to no options for the newly anointed vegans out there. Hello vegans! You will have much less to complain about with this Haiti Open Haitian Legume recipe that you can try.
This stew when carefully ladled over a bowl of rice makes for a wholesome meal. And what’s best this is also gluten free. The cooking and preparation time can vary depending on how you choose to prepare it but you should be good in about one and a half hours. Since it incorporates a lot of vegetables- eggplant, carrots, chayote squash, spinach, string beans, onion and cabbage-prepare for a grocery run well ahead of time. This recipe here delves in the details of the preparation. Haitians have a strong well knitted social fabric, hence this comfort food essentially mirrors the Haitian neighbourhood-coming together of the community to celebrate or mourn.
Speaking of community- a community is as a community does. And in every Haitian household you would definitely find a packed jar of Pikliz and another of Epis. While Pikliz is a slaw of vegetables marinating in copious amounts of white vinegar, Epis is a combination of green onions, thyme, parsley, peppers and garlic marinade or paste. Pikliz is a condiment that accompanies dishes to add zest and Epis is a type of starter paste used to prepare almost all of traditional Haitian recipes. You can also marinate your fish or meat in this paste.
The paste has its roots in Taino and African cuisine and closely resembles the Hispanic base, Sofrito. You would also find the term pesto sauce in most contemporary dishes which is essentially Epis. The main ingredients include- cilantro, parsley, celery, onion, scallion stalks, bell peppers, thyme, garlic, chicken bullion cube and lime juice. You could have virgin olive oil, vinegar to form the base of this paste. This Haiti Open Epis recipe details out the steps you need to follow to make your own Haitian Epis.
This base can be ready in as little as fifteen minutes and last for up to three months in the refrigerator. Talk about meal prepping! It is the acid hard at work in this recipe. Although you can use it as a dip for a million dishes, Epis is best deployed for beans and rice whenever the humble dishes need a little spruce up. Some folks use basil for the extra fresh flavour profile but the spices and herbs both depend on the person behind the kitchen counter.
Both the dishes here- Haitian legume preparation and Epis are traditional and have a flavour profile that only few dishes can match. Give them a try!