Spicy Plantains and Spinach
Serves 2 as a generous side
I travelled through
for 6 weeks with my cousins a number of years ago now, (Shout out to Bec and Jim!) and as a vegetarian
found that I ate a lot of spinach! Plain boiled spinach, oily fried spinach,
spicy spinach, spinach with ugali (manioc mush), and on one occasion, spinach
with plantains. The plantains and spinach weren’t very seasoned, and weren’t
all that tasty to be honest, but the combination found its way into the back of
my mind and stayed there.
When I learned I liked fried Plantains, thanks to Terry Hope Romero and testing for Viva Vegan!, I decided to revisit the combination and see if I could come up with something I would like. And I did.
I like my plantains to be mainly green with just a little yellow, and maybe a tiny touch of black for this, but that is my personal preference. If you know you like your plantains more or less ripe, use them as you prefer.
Preparation Time – 10 Minutes
Cooking Time – 10 Minutes
1 just about ripe Plantain, (more green than yellow and black but not completely green) peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick slices, see Note above
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh Ginger
¼ teaspoon Chili Flakes, or to taste
¼ teaspoon Salt, or to taste
6 cups Baby Spinach, or chopped Spinach
In a large, heavy skillet heat a thin layer of canola oil over medium-high heat. You just want enough oil to completely coat the bottom, not to have the plantains swimming in it.
Fry the plantain slices until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side. Remove from skillet, drain on paper towels, and roughly chop into small (no more than ½-inch square) pieces.
Using the same skillet and same oil (add a little more if necessary) with the heat reduced to medium, sauté the garlic, ginger, chili, and salt until aromatic, about a minute.
Add the chopped plantain pieces and sauté for another minute until well combined and the pieces are coated with the garlic, ginger, and spices.
Add the spinach, sauté for about 3 minutes, tossing well to combine, until the spinach is all wilted.
Taste for seasoning and adjust as required.