Make a traditional New Mexican side dish using quelites, which is similar to spinach but has a more herbaceous, rich flavor. Quelites (pronounced kay-lee-tays) include over 500 types of wild, tender greens in Mexico. In New Mexico, most people associate quelites with lambs quarters (used in this recipe) or pursulae (a.k.a vergolagas).
- 2 tablespoon of fat (bacon grease, olive oil, or lard)
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups quelites (chopped leaves and tender stems)
- 1 tablespoon of chile seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans, whole
- 1/4 cup tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- Heat fat over medium low heat, add onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant.
- Add the chopped greens, chile seeds, salt, black, pepper, beans, and tomatoes. Cook until greens are wilted, and beans are warmed through.
- Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Historic Cookery by Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert. Adaptation and photos by Alison Penn.