pict0503.jpgWith the Maerua crassifolia (jiga) bushes in my garden full of fresh leaves, I was itching to try a new recipe. A sudden burst of inspiration had me land on making a Maerua crassifolia risotto, with the aim of doing something simple, nutritious and nice – though not overdone. After all, with Maerua crassifolia being such a famine food representative, I’m saving the luxury recipes for later. Right now, it’s all about cooking ordinary healthy (varied) nutritious food.

Maerua crassifolia Risotto (4-6 persons)

Mix the following ingredients in a black pan:

3dl of rice
3dl of cooked & dried Maerua crassifolia leaves (you need to cook them out and rinse them once once in order to get rid of the bitter taste – and then you’re ready to go)
6 chopped tomatoes
herbs (I added some fresh basil), salt & pepper

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I mixed it all with water, and then set it out in my solar oven to cook.

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When I came home from work, I took it out, added some peanut oil, fresh tomatoes and crushed garlic, and that was it.

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My mom was always emphasizing the importance of colors in a meal (according to her, a meal was always lacking if it didn’t have anything “green”) – as well as eating a varied diet containing all the different important nutrients. Although this dish contains neither meat, nuts or beans, the Maerua crassifolia leaves have the proteins well covered.