The only way one should never eat taro is raw. It has toxic properties while raw. When making this recipe, please cook the roots for the whole 45 minutes and add the baking soda to cancel out the Oxalate toxins.
The leaves are also edible, we cook it like a 'tropical spinach'.
"Taro has better nutritional qualities than a potato. It has almost three times the dietary fiber, which is important for proper digestive health and regularity. Fiber can also fill you up and make you feel less hungry with fewer calories. Taro root has a low Glycemic Index, as opposed to potato which has a high Glycemic Index."
- 2 Lb of taro (any Portuguese, Brasilian, south eastern Asian food stores should cary it)
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped small
- Half of a large onion, chopped
- half a pint of grape tomatoes, whole
- 1 vegetable bullion cube
- 5 cups or more of boiling water
- A pinch of baking soda
- 5-6 collard green leaves, washed and cut
- 4-5 springs each of scallions, parsley and cilantro. This is the Brasilian herb trinity, we use it on EVERYTHING!
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Start chopping your veggies. An easy way to cut collard greens is to roll it in a 'cigar' shape and slice it.
Leave the taro peeling and chopping for last.
There is no clean way to peel taro. Your hands will get dirty, the taro will get dirty, the chopping board will get dirty. That is why you do it last. Once you peel it, wash it in cold water. You'll notice it is very slippery, be careful with your fingers when cutting it up!
In a large pot add the olive oil and sauté the garlic until it is nice and golden.
- Add the onions and tomatoes, stir.
- Add the paprika, stir for a quick minute.
- Add the taro, stir (It is a theme! add, stir).
- Add the hot water and.. wait for it... Stir!
- Add the bullion cube,
- Add just a pinch of baking soda. It bubbles :)
Add the bay leaf and half of your herb trinity. We save the other half for a herby punch right before serving.
Use a potato masher and smoosh everything up. This will give it the "chowder" look. Plus if you have pick eaters it might be easier to present a smooth dish.
Move the pan out of the heat, add the last of the herbs and the collard greens, stir and let it sit for a minute or two.