Today I combine the crispy baked plantain with a fresh rhubarb salad for lunch. The combination of the ingredients gives a crisp, fresh, a little sweet and very fresh touch to every bite.
Plantains are a staple food in Latin America, Africa and Asia, ranking as the tenth most important staple food in the world. Maybe you could compare it with potato here in the north of Europe?
The plantains are so versatile to work with, you can fry it (whole or grated), boil it and even buy it grinded as a flour. Perfect for so many dishes!
Plantains and rhubarb?
I always like to have one or two plantains at home and in just a few minutes the easiest lunch can be done.
Combine the slightly sweet plantain with something spicy and/or sour to create a great balance. Today I have chosen the sour rhubarb as a counterpart.
If you happen to have made this the delicious rhubarb chutney with curry (see recipe link), it would work perfect as well!
For lunch I also added some grated chili. If you like me, tend to forget your nice chili somewhere in the back of the fridge, I have the world’s best tip for you!
Clean the chili and dab it completely dry. Put it in the freezer just as it is. When you need some extra heat, just take your chili and grate it frozen on a fine grater (I always use my favorite from Microplane) straight on top of your dish. When you are done, place the rest of the chilli back in the freezer. It works perfect every time!
Crispy plantain with fresh rhubarb salad
1 plantain, with a lot of black on its peel
Neutral oil to fry in
1 stalk of leafy celery
1 stalk of rhubarb
1/2 fresh fennel (save the fennel dill)
1 small red apple, fresh and sweet
A handful of fresh mint
Salt and freshly grounded black pepper
The juice of a half lime
Some drops of a good olive oil
Grated or finely chopped chilli
How do I do it?
1. Rinse the vegetables and fruit. Prepare two bowls of cold water and add some ice cubes in each bowl.
2. Peal the utmost layer of the celery and rhubarb using a potato peeler. Don’t take too much! Then peal long, thin strips of both the celery and raspberries. Put them separately in the prepared bowls of ice water. The cold water will make the stripes curl up and become crispy.
3. Cut the fennel in thin, thin slices. Preferably on a mandolin if you have one!
4. Finely chop the fresh mint and the fennel dill. Cut the apple into thin slices. Squeeze the lime juice over the apple. This will prevent the apple from becoming brown and give a good taste to the salad.
5. Peel the plantain with a knife and cut it into slices about 1 cm thick. Flatten each slice with your hand or a broad knife blade. Prepare a double folded kitchen paper on a plate.
6. Heat up a frying pan and add a thick layer of oil. Add the plantain and fry it until it turns golden. Turn and fry on the other side. Place the fried slices on the prepared kitchen paper to drain any excessive oil.
7. Quickly mix the prepared ingredients for the salad:
Take the celery and rhubarb out of the ice water and put in a dry bowl. Add the cut fennel, apple, mint and fennel dill to the same bowl.
Drip some olive oil and the leftover lime juice (from the apples) on top. Add salt and pepper and the grated chili. Mix the salad and serve directly together with your crispy slices of plantain.
This recipe is free from gluten, lactose and refined sugar.