Whenever I pass a grocery shop selling plantain I always have an irresistible urge to buy at least one or two … or three … or four. I’m like a child in a sweet shop – and oh how I suffer …Last Saturday was a classic example, I came away with 5 large ripe plantains and a few other bits … Eh – hem.
En route to my weekly Wholefoods expedition I couldn’t help but notice, Wenty’s had just received a delivery. As my eyes fell over the succulent plantain my mind immediately began to whirl, conjuring up all the mouth watering dishes I could explore. Hmm … Will it be fried, baked, or steamed tonight? How can one decide?
Plantain is one of those African and Caribbean staples that many fail to pass up. Nigerians indulge in plantain porridge, Ghanaians love Fufu, and in it’s many variations, fried plantain is popular thought out West and Central Africa as well as the Caribbean. Today, packets of plantain chips can be found parked next to the humble potato crisp. I could very easily manage to snack on a packet of these daily.
Most plantain fanatics wouldn’t deny that plantain prepared fried is the undisputed culinary champion. It’s indulgent caramelised sweetness cannot be beaten. However in its many guises, plantain can be enjoyed in a multitude of fashions.
In it’s greenest form plantain can be enjoyed as a starchy vegetable, prepared like you would a potato. During its mid-stage, raw plantain is always an option; and when lovely and ripe, plantain is mainly appreciated as a sweet accompaniment or dessert. Now, we all know that fried food isn’t great for us. So, for our arteries sake I have decided to stick to the healthier option. Let’s baked some plantain.
Prep time: 5 mons. Cook time: 25 mins. Serves: 2-4
- 2 Ripe Plantain
- 1 tsp cooking oil ( preferably coconut oil)
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 ( 400F, 200C)
- Peel your plantain – cut off the ends, using the tip of a sharp knife slit the peel length ways. Peel off the skin.
- Cut the plantain on the diagonal, into slices about 1 cm thick.
- Place the plantain slices in a single layer on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper.
- Brush each slice with oil, turn and repeat on the other side.
- Place the baking tray on the middle rack of the oven.
- Cook for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the plantain slices and cook for a further 10 minutes – or until caramelised and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy with <a href=”http://consciousvegan.co.uk/2016/08/25/red-red-bean-stew/” data-mce-href=”http://consciousvegan.co.uk/2016/08/25/red-red-bean-stew/”>Red Red </a> stew or any other savoury dish of your choice.