Haitian recipes from various sources are linked and written out on each plant profile page, towards the bottom of each page. Here are a few Haitian favorites in one spot- be sure to explore more on the rest of the site via the menu above to get more harvesting and cooking tips for each plant!
From Nadege Fleurimond’s recipe in Brooklyn Eater– the most basic form of pikliz, which could keep forever in your fridge, like other pickles. Most traditional recipes also include salt, several whole aromatic cloves and whole black peppercorns, as well as fresh green peas when in season. To substitute for sour orange juice, use fresh lime juice to taste. A combination of salt, vinegar, and lime juice works very well. Some recipes call for as many as 8 scotch bonnet peppers! Improvise according to taste. Pikliz is a simple pickled vinegar/fermentation preserve, like a cross between kimchee and coleslaw. It tastes incredible fresh, as well as months later when the flavors have truly melded together and the textures stay crisp, with a satisfying tang. Pikliz is a superb companion for fried specialties such as griot and akkra, and as a condiment for soups. Spicy pikliz juice is often called for in Haitian recipes, in lieu of hot sauce. If you make pikliz with sour orange juice and water, it will last just the couple of weeks in your fridge, as stated in the recipe, and best eaten fresh like coleslaw:
• 1 cup thinly sliced or shredded green cabbage
• 1⁄8 cup thinly sliced or shredded white onion
• 1⁄8 cup shredded carrot
• 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, stem removed and minced
• 2 cups white vinegar or 1 cup sour orange juice (from about a dozen oranges) plus 1 cup water
1. In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine cabbage, onion, carrot and hot pepper and mix them well.
2. Put the vegetables into a 16-ounce jar, cover them with white vinegar or equal parts sour orange juice and water. For best flavor, marinate for at least a few hours before serving. Pikliz will last for at least 2 weeks, refrigerated.
Akkra are fried appetizers made with fresh southern peas, not dried- try these with any of the southern peas in the Grow Haiti collection. Especially recommended for this recipe are the purple hull peas. Malanga, or taro root, can easily be found at many large supermarkets, but most often at international markets. Some recipes include cod fish. Typically, pikliz is served alongside akkra. Here is a version with malanga from A Taste of Haiti, by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas:
1 pound malanga
1 cup black-eyed peas (not dried)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 shallot or 1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup green bell pepper (optional)
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper (seeded)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups oil
Grate the malanga to make 2 cups. In the blender, mix the black eyed peas, 1/2 cup water, salt, black pepper, scallion, shallot or onion, garlic, green bell pepper, and scotch bonnet pepper until it’s the same thick consistency of the grated malanga.
In a bowl, mix the malanga with the black-eyed pea mixture. Mix in the beaten egg. Mix in the flour and baking powder until you get a nice consistency.
Heat the oil on high heat until very hot. Very carefully, drop in a tablespoonful of the mixture at a time into the very hot oil. Do not turn to other side until the fritter is very dark brown. Scoop out any extra mix that breaks away from the batter in the hot oil, so it does not clutter or burn the oil. Drain on absorbent paper.
A dish full of stories, from island to island. See our amaranth page for a more in depth look at this iconic dish. Here is a recipe found on Chowhound, reprinted in Tom Banse’s NW News regional NPR piece on the Grow Haiti Collection. Our Red Callaloo amaranth leaves will work perfectly in this version. To make the vegetarian version, just leave out the ham, and if you eat seafood, add fresh crab for a truly Caribbean taste!
1 lb callaloo greens
1 lb okra, topped and tailed
1 medium-size onion, coarsely chopped
1 bouquet garni: scallions, fresh thyme, and parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 scotch bonnet pepper, minced
6 1⁄2 c water
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄2 lb cooked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
juice of three limes
Clean the callaloo thoroughly, and remove the woody ribs. Chop the okra and the callaloo and place them in a large saucepan. Add the onion, bouquet garni, salt and black pepper, chili, and water. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, over a medium flame for 30 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and put it through a food mill until it is a smooth purée. Throw it back in the saucepan and add the garlic, ham, and lime juice. Continue to cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Do not allow the soup to come to a second boil or it will lose its texture. Serve immediately.
2 pounds calabaza pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 pounds beef neck bones
1 lime, cut in half
2 scallions, including the green tops, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
2 chives, minced
1 green pepper, sliced thin
2 tablespoons pikliz
2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
4 celery stalks, cut in 1-inch pieces
10 cabbage leaves, cut in 4 pieces each
1 leek stalk, sliced in 1-inch pieces (optional)
2 large carrots, peeled, cut in 1-inch pieces
4 to 6 whole cloves
1/2 cup of spaghetti (or macaroni or a little of both)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 4 pieces each
1 scotch bonnet pepper, whole and pricked with a fork, twice
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
In a medium pot, cook pumpkin over medium heat, in 6 cups water for 30 minutes. Puree pumpkin in the water. While pumpkin is cooking, clean meat with lime, rinse with cold water, and drain. Marinate meat with scallions, onion, garlic, shallot, chives, green pepper, pikliz, salt, and black pepper. (You can marinate meat from 1 hour up to one day in advance for flavor enhancement.)
In stockpot, add the meat with 1 cup water and cook covered, over medium heat for 40 minutes. Add 3 cups water and pureed pumpkin and bring to a boil for 40 minutes.
Add celery, cabbage, leek, carrots, and whole cloves. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add pasta, potatoes, hot pepper, and butter and spoon in dumplings. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Taste it. If it needs more salt and/or pepper, add to taste.
This recipe is one of many found in the definitive history Peanuts, The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea by Andrew F. Smith (who is also author of the definitive history The Tomato in America, Early History, Culture, and Cookery). This version is reprinted from The Picayune Creole Cook Book, 2d ed. (New Orleans: The Picayune, 1901), p. 376.
1 Pound of Peanuts.
1 Pound of Brown Sugar.
4 Tablespoonfuls of Water.
1 Tablespoonful of Butter.
Shell the peanuts and break into bits. Then set the sugar and water to boil, and as it begins to simmer add the peanuts and the butter. Stir constantly and as it bubbles up once take from the fire, pour from the spoon on the marble slab or a buttered plate, and set away to harden.