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Brazilian/Sissoo Spinach - Alternanthera sissoo

  • Sissoo spinach, also known as Brazilian spinach, Sambu or Samba lettuce, is a tropical edible ground cover of the genus Alternanthera used as a leaf vegetable. Although it is referred to scientifically as Alternanthera sissoo hort., there are no known scientific descriptions of its taxonomy.

    The leaves are crunchy, slightly more so than the temperate climate spinach, and not slimy. Some cultivars are slightly bitter. They require steaming or boiling when eaten in large quantities because of the presence of oxalates. It is eaten alone as a green or added to other dishes as a spinach substitute. Reportedly, Brazilians usually eat it raw in salads with oil and or vinegar, tomato, and onion, although the literature recommends cooking it. Sissoo spinach can be added to quiches, pies, curries, dhals, pasta sauces, lasagna or added to dishes and stir-fries late in the cooking process as a spinach substitute and to add a nutty flavour.