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Cream of plantain and avocado. This dish exemplifies the 3 Ss of a classic dish: Simple, Satisfying, Staple. These two fruits (yes, avocado is indeed a fruit) are almost always stocked in my fruit basket on the kitchen counter. Yet it never occurred to me to put them together in a recipe until a particular day when the refrigerator was rather sparse. I had to finish up my ripening fruits before doing another round of grocery shopping, and spied a ripening yellow plantain ,turning black at some spots, sitting in the basket beside a perfectly ripe avocado.
The interesting thing about plantains is that they are perfectly ripe and sweet when black all over, whereas bananas would probably only be good for the compost at the equivalent stage. When my son accompanied me to the African store to buy plantains, I taught him how to choose good ripe plantains and now he kind of knows which one’s too ripe or not ripe enough (“This one is too squishy, Mama!”).
I decided to turn the plantain and avocado into a creamy soup for breakfast, which worked really well when served with homemade meatballs. They make such a lovely savoury + sweet combination. The medjool date is totally optional, especially if your plantain is really ripe and sweet. I’m pretty tolerant of coconut these days, though I enjoy brainstorming recipes when there’s an opportunity to create a coconut-free dish! Adding the avocado towards the end of the cooking process prevents the avocado taste from changing. I find that avocados develop an odd taste when cooked, probably due to the high fat content? If that doesn’t bother you, feel free to add them together with the rest of the ingredients before cooking.
Here’s the recipe for the meatballs:
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp tiger nut flour
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground clove
- 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp oil/ fat of your choice for cooking
- Mix all the ingredients together
- Form into 12 bite-sized meatballs
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat
- Add oil/ fat, then pan-fry the meatballs until cooked through
By making the meatballs in advance, the dish could be whipped up really quickly for breakfast!
- 1 ripe plantain, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp tiger nut flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 medjool date, pitted and sliced into half (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and flesh cut into chunks
- Place all the ingredients except the avocado flesh into a medium saucepan
- Stir to mix and bring to a simmer over medium heat
- Add avocado flesh, remove the saucepan from heat
- Blend until smooth with a hand-held immersion blender
Ladle the soup into a bowl
Add the cooked meatballs
Garnish with julienned radish (I used a small watermelon radish) and a tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves, plus a sprinkling of black sea salt (optional)
Drizzle a few drops of avocado oil, if desired