The most often used green leafy vegetable for efo riro include all varieties of amaranth greens (including tete and soko), spinach and I have also successfully made efo riro using kale, collard greens and other leafy vegetables available really. But I have to stress that the Yorubas prefer amaranth greens to make the most sumptuous efo riro dish, and this is because the leaves are just well suited.
|Red & Green Spinach (Amaranth)|
So having discovered Red Spinach recently through my exciting culinary adventure, it was only a matter of time that I would be cooking a different, exotic and scintillating version of the much loved efo riro..... and I tell you its just divine.
Method: so the same exact method and ingredients used for making the traditional efo riro was used, you know creating the base sauce made with peppers, tomatoes, dried fish, locust beans, palm oil etc. For the red spinach, I plucked the leaves off the stalk, and chop into shreds. After washing them off debris and other foreign matters, I blanched the leaves in the microwave inside a Ziploc food bag. I chose to use this method of blanching to help retain some other vitamins that regular blanching would have depleted. Also I was really keen to help keep the bright red colour.
Colour: the colour of the resulting dish is excitingly bright red. Surprisingly, the color did not tarnish or darken with cooking or over a few days of storage in the fridge. The high pigmentation in red spinach indicates very high levels of beneficial phyto-chemicals which often have antioxidant properties.
Taste: The other surprising thing is that the taste of my red spinach efo riro was not significantly different in comparison to the green spinach efo riro. When blind folded, you really would not notice any major or striking difference. However, its useful to note that the red efo riro has a slightly more earthy flavour.
Versatility: Red Spinach efo riro can pretty much be eaten in the same way you eat the green efo riro. Serve with rice, boiled yam, plantain, and of course different types swallows such as pounded yam, gari, amala, semolina etc
You've got to try it....
|Red & Green Amaranth Efo Riro|