Banana Blossom Heart & Cabbage Salad with Strawberry Infused Lemon/Limette-ade
Banana Blossom Heart & Cabbage Salad with Strawberry Infused
I grow bananas in my front yard and until they are mature enough to grow some sizable bananas, I get these blossoms that I can use in salads. The banana heart can be a bit bitter but when prepared correctly, they are wonderful salad compliments to any thick core vegetables. The heart looks like a giant artichoke. It can make a wonderful stir fry as well.
But as it is summer, I can only decide on something that is cool and refreshing. What is more refreshing than to pair this salad with a strawberry infused lemon/limeade? I love my cauliflower muffins to go with this dish (see previous post for the cauliflower muffin recipe).
My hope is that we, as Agriscapers, will be able to utilize as much of our landscape harvest to grow and eat healthy foods. The way I see it, it is more than just filling our stomach. It is an opportunity to take nature and feed ourselves with REAL natural medicine.
The banana flower grows at the end of a bunch of bananas. It is a leafy maroon colored cone with cream colored florets layered inside. These florets need to be cleaned well before they are cooked as a vegetable. The banana flower is rich in vitamins, flavonoids and proteins. The flower has been used in traditional medicine to treat bronchitis, constipation and ulcer problems. It eases menstrual cramps. The extracts of banana flower have antioxidant properties that prevent free radicals and control cell and tissue damage. www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/medicinal-properties-of-the-banana-plant.htm#ixzz3hVThAKXm
Banana Blossom Core/Heart
Serve the bed of salad with a protein (grilled pork tender or chopped rotisserie chicken) and the cauliflower muffin. This salad makes a wonderful exotic dish that will blow away your taste bud. It’s like a party in your mouth.
Banana Blossom Core/Heart
Preparing the blossom before making the salad:
|1-2 heads||Banana Blossoms|
|2 Tablespoon||White vinegar|
- Take 2 banana blossoms and peel off and discard the tough, old outer layers (called bracts).
- Use a Japanese mandolin with the thinnest setting and cut into fine julienne strips;
- Immediately plunge into large bowl of cold water and the white vinegar.
- When ready to prepare the salad, remove the julienne strips and get rid of the tiny white buds.
- Rinse and drain. Squeeze dry of the excess water.
Preparing the Salad:
|4 cups||Prepared banana blossom core as above|
|1 large head||Cabbage (julienne)|
|½ cup||Olive oil|
|1 bunch||Cilantro (chopped)|
|1 large||Lime or Limette|
|1 Tablespoon||Red chili paste (usually in a jar in the oriental section of the grocery aisle)|
|2 Tablespoon||Agave or Honey (whatever is your preference)|
- In a processor: take ½ of the cilantro leaves + olive oil + lime juice + salt and puree;
- Add the cilantro puree with chili paste and agave (honey optional) and whisk thoroughly;
- In a large bowl add the julienne banana blossom and the cilantro dressing;
- Put the banana mixture with dressing in a ziplock bag to be refrigerated overnight. This will further cut down the bitterness of the banana blossom and make the salad more flavorful;
- Combine the julienne cabbage and banana blossom mixture and toss the other ½ of the cilantro leaves;