Recipe - Burundian Spinach

Burundian Spinach With Smoked Fish

As Assumpta Karire, from Gitega, Burundi, taught Lindsay Sterling in Portland, Maine, September 2015

Serves 8
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

1 smoked twelve-inch whole mackerel (or 2 cans smoked sardines, drained)
1 onion, medium dice
1/2 green pepper, medium dice
2 large bags frozen chopped spinach or about 20 oz
2 cloves garlic grated, pressed, or chopped
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp peanut butter

If using sardines, skip to next paragraph. If using whole smoked mackerel, take off the skin and the head and discard. In a small saucepan cover the bone-in meat chunks in water and boil for 15 minutes to calm the flavor down and loosen the flesh from the bones.

Put frozen spinach in another saucepan and add water until it is about halfway up the spinach. Turn the heat on medium and add the onion and green pepper.

Strain mackerel and let it cool enough to touch it. Peel meet chunks off the bone and discard bones. Add the chunks of the boneless smoked fish meat (or canned smoked sardines if using) to the spinach. Let simmer for about twenty minutes to combine all the flavors, keeping an eye on the water level. Add garlic to the spinach. If the spinach threatens to burn, add more water. You want to see liquid bubbling, but you do not want soup. The dish should be neither a liquid or a solid, but right in between.

Assumpta served this spinach dish with Burundian baked chicken, sauteed summer squash and bell peppers, and spicy rice with peas and green beans. I think this spinach dish on its own would be great as a hot dip or appetizer served with crackers or baked pita chips.

Copyright 2015 Lindsay Sterling