If you’ve never eaten a plantain before, you’re in for a treat!
This cousin of the banana is better for cooking. It’s slightly more starchy, a bit lower in sugar, and provides lots of potassium, vitamins A, C, and B6, magnesium and fiber.
The plantain is definitely healthy. The problem is that the nutritional value is often hampered by the high-fat cooking methods of frying in oil or sautéing in butter.
Because plantains contain natural sugars, they easily caramelize in the oven or in a cast iron or ceramic skillet without all that oil.
The result is toasty, tender, delicious plantain flavor.
This recipe makes plantains the star of the plate. Spread some spicy chimichurri on a crispy baked corn tortilla. Top with warm black beans and wilted spinach, and place your lovely slices of golden plantain on top. Top with more chimichurri. Mmmmm.
My omnivore family gave this whole food, plant-based recipe an enthusiastic thumbs up!
Plantain Tostadas with Black Beans and Avocado Chimichurri
Vegan | WFPB | GF
1 cup cilantro with stems
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 small shallot, peeled
3 cups baby spinach
1 jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed.
6 soft corn tortillas
1-2 tablespoons water
¼ cup avocado
2 large yellow plantains
1 can black beans
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 350° F.
Place the tortillas on a baking tray and place in the oven. Toast about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, flipping after 10 minutes.
Peel the plantains by cutting off the ends and down the length (to the depth of the skin.) Remove the peel and cut 3/4″ slices at an angle.
Heat a cast iron or ceramic non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place the plantains in the skillet, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. You can also roast them in a 400 degree oven on a silicone mat or parchment paper until golden. Check often to prevent burning!
While the plantains are getting all golden and delicious, make the chimichurri sauce. To a small food processor, add the jalapeño, garlic, shallot, and pulse to chop. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and pulse to combine, adding 1-2 Tbsp. water if needed. Add the avocado and blend until creamy, adding more avocado if needed.
Once the plantains are browned, remove from the skillet, flatten slightly with the side of your knife, sprinkle with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Add the black beans and spinach to the same skillet and stir until spinach wilts and beans are warm. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to prevent sticking. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve tostadas, spread a thin layer of chimichurri on the toasted tortillas, top with beans and spinach, and 2-3 slices of plantain. Add more chimichurri or a few drops of hot sauce if desired.
Inspired by Purple Carrot