By Nadege Fleurimond
Nadege Fleurimond is a chef and owner of Fleurimond Catering Inc. She is also author of Haiti Uncovered: A Regional Adventure Into the Art of Haitian Cuisine, a culinary cookbook that embraces every region in Haiti.
In Haiti, fish, salads and boiled root vegetables reign supreme on the dinner table from Good Friday until Easter Sunday.
Below are three of my favorite Easter weekend non-meat recipes.
Carrot and Seafood Salad
In most Haitian households and restaurants, the salad of iceberg lettuce, tomato with thousand island dressing reigns king. However, for special occasions, many home cooks create their own special salad creations. this recipe was inspired by my friends mom, Mommy Ginette. She used a basic vinaigrette on hers, however, I decided I’d try a passion fruit vinaigrette I concocted on one of my trips to Haiti. I was catering a brunch at the Royal Oasis Hotel in Petionville and wanted to add a special touch to an avocado salsa I had concocted. As is always the case with most dishes, go where your imagination takes you.
4 cups of blanched carrots, grated
2 cups cooked seafood mix (shrimp, crab meat, etc.)
½ cup of passion fruit Vinaigrette
½ red onion julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of passion fruit juice
2 tablespoon of sugar
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 diced shallot
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 clove of fresh minced garlic
salt and pepper
In a food processor mix all ingredients together, except shallots, and pulse. Add shallots after pulsing.
In a bowl combine carrot, seafood, onions, vinaigrette, and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste
Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
*Season seafood according to your taste. I suggest marinading in epis and sauteing.CLICK HERE FOR EPIS RECIPE
Salad Russe, means Russian Salad. Besides its French heritage, Haiti has been influenced by many of its settlers. This salad is one of the culinary treasures that has been adapted by Haitians from our Russians expats and settlers. You will find many Haitians with names such as Vladimir and Lovinsky.
The Poles who also have a long history with Russia also have strong ties in Haiti. Many Poles were sent to Haiti under Napoleon to squash the Haitian revolution. However, many of them decided to stay and settle in Haiti. Until this day, you can find strong Polish heritage in Cazale and Fond-des-blancs.
This salad is enjoyed at most gatherings including communions, Christmas dinner and any other special occasions. This is a special favorite on Easter Sunday! Bring this to your next gathering and enjoy the accolades!
2 carrots (diced after boiling)
3 potatoes (cubed)
2 pounds of fresh beets (cubed)
2 tablespoon of fresh parsley
½ cup of melted butter
½ cup of mayonnaise
½ teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
In a large pot boil the carrots and potatoes, adding ½ tsp of salt to water.
Cut the beet stems about 1 inch from the top to preserve beet’s color.
In a separate pot, add water and ½ teaspoon of salt, boil the beets for approximately one hour or until tender.
In a mixing bowl, peel and chop the carrots and potatoes into half inch chunks.
Peel and dice the beets then add to the mixing bowl.
Drizzle melted butter over the salad.
Combine fresh parsley, ground pepper, mayonnaise and stir.
Serve hot or cold.
Fish in Spiced Clear Broth Pwason Gwo Sel
Pwason Gwo Sel is eaten all over Haiti. The best version of this dish can be found in the south as they have a lot of seafood readily available in the coastal cities. This dish is especially popular on Good Friday, because 90% of Haitians are not eating meat on that particular day. I personally prefer to season the fish with my epis/green seasoning. But you may choose to simply marinate the fish with salt, as the broth is pretty flavorful.
2 whole snappers (scaled, cleaned and gutted)
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of green seasoning
3 shallots julienned
1/2 green pepper julienned
1/2 red pepper julienned
1/5 cup of olive oil
1 stalks of chopped scallions
1 scotch bonnet pepper
2 tablespoon of butter
1 sprig of parsley
1 sprig of thyme
6 garlic cloves(whole)
In a medium bowl, place snappers and cut 2 slits on each side of fish about 1 inch apart. Wash fish with cold water and the juice and rind of 2 limes. Rinse.
Sprinkle sea salt liberally along with the juice of 1 lime. Season Fish with Epis** and coarse sea Salt. Let marinade for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.
Reserve liquid that collects in the bowl.
on medium heat, in a deep skillet pan, add olive oil 3 cups of water, scallions, green pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, shallots, thyme, cloves, garlic cloves, and parsley. Bring to a boil. reduce heat to medium.
Add reserved fish liquid and butter, and then reduce to a simmer for ten to 12 minutes.
**Many believe that Pwason gwo sel should only be seasoned with salt. I added epis to this recipe because I find that gives it a deeper more pronounced flavor. but feel free to try it both ways.