Vegetables? With no meat? You must be at the wrong blog… Truth be told, I do eat the occasional vegetable. A recent trip through the Buford Highway Farmers market landed me with a beautiful bunch of greens labeled simply as “quelites“.

Much like the Southern usage of “greens”, which could refer to collards, kale, mustard, spinach or who knows what, in Mexico the word quelites is used to reference pretty much any green, leafy vegetable. So essentially, I had no idea what I was dealing with. My best guess from the shape of the leaf is that this was some type of amaranthus. The uncooked leaf tasted a bit like kale.

After a couple of washes in a full sink of water (these held on to sand much like spinach and took a couple of water changes), stems were removed and the leaves were cut into 1″ strips. Prep took much longer than the actual cooking…

I really like sauteed greens, so that was the plan. Onions and a chili from the yard went into the pot with some oil and a quick Google search on “quelites recipes” turned up a recipe by Aaron Sanchez that mentioned the inclusion of tomatoes, so I went with that. After the onions and tomatoes began to soften, the greens went in with a bit of salt and cooked for about 5 minutes. A squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil finished them off.

Simple and delicious and I still have no idea exactly what I cooked (I’m sticking with amaranthus). The point is, don’t be afraid to explore. This huge bundle of quelites cost all of $1.29 – cheap enough to toss if I screwed them up and no guilt involved.


5 thoughts on “Quelites!

  1. I love finding new veggies that typical Americans have no idea what to do with. I think if it’s food in one culture, then it won’t kill me, so I might as well try it. We have had some unbelievable greens that I can buy on sight, but not ask for since I don’t know the names.

  2. That looks great! And it’s very timely that I read this post, seeing as how I am headed to to the BuHiFM in just a little while. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for this find of yours. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Same as callaloo? Haven’t had it, but I see it at YDFM sometimes. A Trinidadian I work with talks about a callaloo and crab dish that sounds fantastic.

  4. Callaloo is amaranth, so i guess it is the same. I still don’t have 100% verification that it is amaranth, but it was at BHFM this past weekend. Maybe someone can confirm?

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