Plaintain and Avocado Rolls with Spicy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

24 May

Hello again, friends! Here’s a fun and easy little summer treat I like to call: tonight’s dinner. This one’s inspired by one of my favorite foods — plantains. No matter how they’re cooked, I love ’em! One of my favorite ways to eat them, however, is in the form of “mangú.” Yeah, yeah, I’m Dominican, can you tell? “Mangú” is basically mashed plantains, and nothing more. It’s traditionally served doused in fried onions and oil, with fried cheese and sauteed salami. Yeah, we won’t go there…yet. One day I’ll make all of that the vegan way. But for now, here’s a different, simple, delicious way to eat plantains. This was so easy to make; the most involved part was wrapping the plantains and that only took a few seconds. This is a really fun “finger” food that’s basic enough that you can substitute whatever favorite sauce or wrap you want. Try it on your next “Taco Tuesday,” you know, when you don’t feel like eating tacos but you want something just as easy and with a little spanish kick! PS: This is great beer food, just sayin’!

Ingredients:
(makes about 15-18 rolls and 1 cup of sauce)

Tools:
Toothpicks

2 plaintains, unripened (green), peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
2 – 3 tbsp Earth Balance  margarine or Smart Balance Organic margarine
1 bunch collard greens, washed and de-stemmed (can sub. kale, swiss chard, lettuce)
1 small avocado, thinly chopped slices

Sauce:
1 cup cilantro, chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp vinegar
1 cherry pepper, chopped and de-seeded (jalapeño is fine, but if it’s large, use half)
juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mango slices to serve, optional

Directions:

First, make the sauce. Add the first 5 ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. In a nonstick saucepan or skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the contents of the food processor in small batches, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir until throughly warmed. Turn down the heat if you have to, you don’t want to have boiling oil. You just want to heat the oil so that it’s warm. Take of heat and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, boil the plantains, as you would potatoes — completely covered in water, for about 15 minutes. When you can pierce the pieces with a fork, they’re ready. They should be a bright yellow/tan color. Drain them, reserving about 1/2  to 3/4 cup of the water. Transfer the plantains to a bowl, add the margarine and mash with a fork or a potato masher. Add the leftover boiling water in small batches until the mash becomes smoother. You may still have some clumps, but that’s ok.

Set out your collard greens on a flat service. I faced the leaf so that the greener side is what would be visible to the outside once rolled. Place about 2 tablespoons of plantains on the leaf and a few pieces of avocado. You may have to make a small plantain ball to make the whole thing stick together. Roll the plantain/avocado in the green leaf tightly, as you would a burrito, so that nothing falls out the bottom. Tack with a toothpick and plate.

Serve alongside the sauce for dipping and with mango slices if desired.

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