Friday, 27 February 2009

Its Good to be Green

Let me introduce my new best friend his name is Malabar or Indian spinach genus Bassela. Some times called Ceylon spinach its only a distant relative to European spinach. He looks innocent enough but its the most useful, flavoursome ingredient that I have discovered in ages. It has all the best qualities of English spinach without the grit.
This heatwave has made most common green leafy vegetables very scarce. But Malabar seems to love the heat. Raw it has a refreshing cool flavour and a fleshy moist texture. Gentle heat gives it a silken texture that makes a very useful companion to soft cheeses or strong gutsy dressings. Its a vine that grows to glorious heights. You can find it in most Asian markets. Vietnamese call it Mong Toi, its not expensive easy to clean and keeps for ages without withering. It can take hard heat and results in a velvet smooth puree.
A very welcome new member to the repertoire. Grow it from seeds or cuttings.
How do you use it?


Jack said...

After reading your post George, I stumbled across this green on Victoria St Richmond last week.

I sauteed it like spinach with anchovy, chilli and garlic.
Just as you said silky texture, delicate herbal flavour, and oh so cheap and interesting!
Thanks for the heads up.

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Thanks Jack your spuds are pretty good too!