Our yard has a banana grove. This in itself is awesome, but even more awesome is that we actually had bananas on our tree. I kept waiting for them to ripen, but not knowing anything about bananas on trees I found out too late that they do not turn yellow when ripe, they turn bright green. I think I missed my chance to eat them.
However, while they were growing I was excitedly informed by my BFF May and my Auntie Flora, both former residents of the Philippines, that one could eat the banana flower. Yes, bananas have flowers. But how does one eat them? Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew?
The Google is always handy for answering this and any other question, and when put to the test it came back with a salad that lacked other strange ingredients and was therefore make-able. Chef Jose worked his magic, and voila! We were able to eat something that grew in our garden, albeit not planted by us. Anne was adventurous and joined us for dinner, and that’s how you know you’re family. It’s when we feed you things that are not only experimental in the recipe department, but experimental in the ingredient department as well. I happened to think it was delightfully tasty, so if you happen to find yourself with an extra banana flower lying about, here is the recipe I highly recommend from yumsugar.com.
What strange things have you eaten? From your own garden?
Banana Flower, Poached Chicken and Mint Salad
1 firm banana flower (Incidentally, you can find these at asian grocery stores, usually between November and February is best, depending on where you live)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh mint, rolled and sliced
4 tablespoons white vinegar (We used cava vinegar from our Barcelona trip.)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
Make sure to slice your banana flower as thinly as possible.