Monday, October 26, 2009

Ziromon (Pumpkin) leaves

We didn't intend to grow ziromon (Creole for pumpkin). These pumpkins are dark green (skin) with orange flesh. It must have been one of the seeds we have thrown that decided to grow in our "backyard" garden. Every day we've looked for small ziromons, but in vain. The beautiful orange flowers are there, but no vegetables yet. The plant is quite young, and it is said it gives vegetables after it is getting old... I have no idea what "old" means for a ziromon plant! :)

The days are getting longer, hotter and more humid, so that plant decided it is time for growing! And when I say time for growing, my it grows fast - the leaves! Just in one week or so it covered most of the area around it and threatened to climbed into the coffee trees and even one branch decided how great it was to grow around a water pipe on the wall! I didn't agree to that! This morning I had enough of it and cut off most of the branches! Had to throw most of it, because the bigger leaves and branches are not eaten. Ziromon leaves are eaten here, but only the young shoots - see photo above). One of the fun thing with these kind of creepers is that you cut one branch and there will be hundreds of new branches! That is to exaggerate, but you know what I mean...

Cleaning the leaves and branches are another "fun part"! The plant has tiny "thorns" on the branches, which has be be removed before cooking. It's a h... (sorry) of a job, but it has too be done! Above: DH shows the "skin" (I don't know the English word) that has to be removed.

Voila! Cleaned - and ready to be washed and boiled. The cleaning takes time, and I have the impression not many people eat ziromon leaves anymore, just because of the time consuming cleaning. We never buy these leaves at the local vegetable market, because there are a lot of waist. We prefer growing it in our garden, where there is no pesticide and herbicide added!

To boil the leaves: fry onion and garlic in a pan - fry it very good. We use a pressure cooker. Add the leaves and boil for a short time. Don't add water if you use a pressure cooker!!! The water from the cleaned leaves are enough! Green leaves don't need long cooking time, as they "melt" fast in a pressure cooker. Add salt after cooking. A little bit olive oil can be added too - if desired.

I forgot to take a photo after it was done (boiled), but I bet you all can imagine how it looks like! :))


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

very different kind of plant then what we have here when I think of pumpkin :) looks like a lot of work - I imagine the finished product is something like spinach or other greens that are eaten here.

The Heart of Paul said...

We eat pumpkin leaves in my homestate too! If it is bitter you can stir-fry it with some other vegetable that is 'sweeter'. Like spinach or baby sweet corn or something.

Oh how I miss home cooking.

Nettie said...

It sounds rather like spinach Astrid and I'm sure it tastes wonderful with your recipe!

Anonymous said...

Namaskar Astrid,

Thanks for the pic's on cleaning. We in India use it a lot in cooking
Nice blog
Keep it up

Astrid said...

Dear anonymous, please leave your email address, blog or whatever... I'd love to get in touch with you. Thanks for your nice comments!