Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Island Banana Blossom Salad

I was out in one of the many beautiful islands in the Philippines and had a pleasure of preparing a fabulous feast for an important dinner event. I like to share one dish that became closest to my heart...the guests loved it too. This is a new twist to an old favorite in the Samar region. A salad of creamed Banana blossoms.

Banana blossoms are usually available in asian supermarkets in either fresh or canned form. If you're getting them fresh, strip off the first few layers. This tends to be dry and tough. So you want to use the inner, paler layers. Cut them lengthwise and put them in a pot of salted boiling water. Let it poach until done for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing in a bowl by whisking together heavy cream and a bit of lemon juice until smooth. Flavor the mixture with a bit of fresh coconut milk (canned are also available in stores). Slightly sweeten with a small amount of sugar or honey. Add some minced ginger and season with ground white pepper and sea salt.

Cool the cooked banana blossoms then slice thinly. Lighty squeeze out the excess liquid and place in a bowl. Garnish with chopped red bell peppers and red onions. Gently toss the ingredients together and fold in the dressing. Sprinkle with some chopped chives and parsley. Serve chilled