Monday, May 28, 2012
This isn't really a post about plantains. Though ever since I had them in South America allllll those years ago, I'm slightly obsessed with them. Their starchy goodness. Their delectable dippability. Mmmmmmmmmm .....
Sorry. Got off track.
Nope, this is a post about diversity. About trying different things now and then - buying those strange fruits and veggies at the green grocer, giving them a go. Because variety is what makes food interesting, and gives our bodies different nutrients. Makes our taste buds happy.
Plantains. Dragonfruit. Green papaya. Celeriac. Purple carrots. Enoki mushrooms. Radicchio. Those funny-looking heritage tomatoes. I know you've heard it said, but seriously - variety is the spice of life.
Here's what you do:
1. Next time you find an unusual-but-intriguing bit of produce at the green grocer, or the farmer's market, or even if you get one in your Food Connect box ... go with it! This is your moment!
2. Ok. You've got it home. Now what? Google it. Have a look through your favourite food blogs, foodie magazine sites, and even Wikipedia to see what to do with it. Seriously, you're going to find inspiration out there, somewhere.
3. Whatever recipe you decide on, try to make it simple. Not only will it make your life easier, but simple preparation tends to bring out the best in produce ... you'll taste it for what it is. You might discover a new fave.
And besides, if it doesn't work for you - just save dinner with a microwave-baked potato.
So what new things are you trying?
Chia seeds? Lemon basil? Purple potatoes?
Plantains are kind of like large bananas. They have a lower sugar content than bananas, and are often used when green and unripe - when they're almost potato-like in their starchiness. They go well in bean-based dishes or ... as here ... all on their own. Plantains are (apparently) the 10th most important staple food for the world's population, so please don't take this recipe as the be-all and end-all. There are heaps of great ideas out there for them!
Peel a green plantain and slice it into 1cm-thick slices. Saute in generous amounts of rice bran oil or butter over med-high heat until golden - then pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt. (I like lots of salt on my plantains - sprinkle to taste.) Serve with lime, sour cream, and salsa. Or just nibble them off a plate as you walk past the kitchen. Again. And again. And again.