Even though I embrace and adore the traditional foods of my adopted country, sometimes there’s nothing better than a burger to satisfy my hunger. If, like me, you have food allergies out the wazoo and you’re not a great fan of meat, and the thought of one more tired (over-rated and over-marketed) veggie burger – filled with ‘secret’ ingredients that trigger your tinnitus amongst other allergic reactions – will make you scream, a Banana Burger is just the ticket.
My burgers are a little different to the usual fare; there are lots of ingredients missing, such as meat, wheat, dairy, and eggs. And rather than putting little bits of grilled banana somewhere amidst limp lettuce and soggy tomatoes, hidden under a greasy meat patty, organic plantain bananas are the main ingredient of this delicious dish.
I skip the whole bun part, and make a hearty side salad with mescalin lettuces, spinach and rocket, cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, radish, grated carrot, fresh mint, basil, and oregano and a tangy lime vinaigrette. A handful of Crispy Chifles on the side, in case there are not enough bananas on my plate, and it’s good to go. I like to put home-made sweet chili sauce on mine, but herb and garlic mayo is good too. To drink, I also make a fresh juice of blended ripe bananas and organic passionfruit from my garden. (Can you tell I’m a closet monkey yet?)
Banana Burger Recipe:
6 green plantain bananas
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano or cilantro, finely chopped (I use wild cilantro for this!)
½ cup banana flour (or bean flour)
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Peel the bananas and chop them into four or five chunks. Boil the chunks in salted water until they’re soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. Put the banana chunks into a bowl, and keep a little of the cooking water.
Mash the banana pieces into paste (you can use a food processor, but try to leave it a little chunky for a better texture) and then add all the other ingredients. If it feels a little dry, dribble a bit of the cooking water into the mixture. Be careful not to add too much.
Form into patties and grill or bake until nicely browned on both sides. Serve with salad and banana chips.
Wanna come to Ecuador and learn to make some really great tasting Banana Burgers? Ask Footprints how.