So not too long ago I discovered plantains. They’re those weird things you see in the grocery store that look like bananas but are longer, tougher, and have more discoloration. For a while I thought they were the organic bananas that always got dark before someone bought them but I was wrong. Plantains are much starchier than a regular banana and not quite as sweet. So, I don’t suggest eating them raw. They are a staple in Africa and Caribbean countries. The first time I tried one was at a cultural festival. It was sort of set up in the same way Epcot is, you go from country to country and in each section there are live performances, music, art, and my favorite, food. Not being very familiar with Africa I decided to go there and see what deliciousness they were cooking and sure enough plantains were on the menu. The ones I got were grilled and savory, packed with a ton of flavor and a hint of lime. I was expecting something sweet like in a dessert banana but this was a pleasant surprise.
Ever since then I have been cooking with plantains in a variety of ways, grilled, roasted, pan fried, and my favorite, mashed. For a while my mom was getting Blue Apron and in the mail she received their recipe for the “Grains of Paradise – Crusted Steaks”. She kept raving about how delicious it was and kept telling me about the plantains. It was made with lime and ginger. This happens to be one of my favorite flavor affinities ever. I seriously consider it a match made in heaven. After tasting the plantains in the recipe I set out to modify it just a tad and to make it vegan. This makes it much more simple and healthy.
3 ripe plantains
1 lime zested and juiced
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon oil
¼ cup peanuts chopped
1 inch ginger peeled and minced
Handful of fresh parsley chopped
Peel and slice the plantains
Boil the plantains until they’re fork tender
Drain and mash the plantains then add the lime zest and lime juice
In a pan sauté the peanuts and ginger together
Top the plantains with the ginger infused peanuts and parsley then voila, serve immediately