Green Bananas can be used in the most delicious and unique ways. Potatoes don't grow well for us at this low and tropical elevation but bananas....well that's a whole different story, they pump! We are always looking for different carbohydrate sources in the tropics and green bananas are a great one. I love gnocchi and have finally found a way to make it without potatoes. The green bananas make a nice easy to handle dough that can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in saran for several days. I love to top this reciepe off with a home grown pesto, best way to get a diverse assortment of greens fresh. I use whatever greens we have growing, parsley, mint, basil, moringa, katuk and am happy to share my simple reciepe with you to experiment with.
This receipe will make enough for about 6 servings
3 lbs of green bananas steamed in the skins for 45 minutes, then cooled, peeled and grated
1/2 cup of oil
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 eggs
2 cups of flour (approximately)
Place the grated banana in a cuisinart with the bread blade (if you have one) add salt oil and eggs and about 3/4 of the flour.
Pulse until it is mixed and then blend until it forms a ball. If you have too much dough for the cuisinart to work well, after you have pulsed it a bit pull half of it out and blend the 1st half then add the part you removed and blend together well.
Remove the dough ball and prepare a floured board. Pull about a tennis sized ball of dough off. You are going to create a long 3/4" cigar shape with this ball. I find that squeezing and pulling the dough out in a long shape, alternating with rolling it back and forth using my palms as a roller, works well.
With a sharp knife cut the roll into 3/4" pieces. Turn each piece up on end and with a fork dipped in flour make an impression across the top while flattening the piece.There you have your gnocchi!
Place the pieces on a cookie sheet and drop about 1/3 of them into a large pan of boiling water at a time.. When the gnocchi pieces float (this happens quite quickly) allow them to cook a few more minutes and then remove to a strainer.
Let this batch drain while you cook the next batch. When the 2nd batch is cooked remove the first batch to a serving bowl and place the second batch in the strainer. Continue in this manner for the next batches until all are cooked.
A red sauce is great but I adore a fresh pesto sauce. Gather a diversity of greens, wash and drain well.
Grate some romano or parmasean cheese. Using the cuisinart with the regular blade, add the grated cheese and your choice of nuts. I use macnuts because we grow them and they make a great light pesto but almonds or pine nuts are wonderful too. Add 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp of salt and pulse to make a fine mix but not a paste.
Add your greens and a bit of olive oil. and 1/2 to 1 lime squeezed (or lemon) Pulse to blend all the greens into the other ingredients, if the mix is too dry, add olive oil a bit at a time, you don't want it too oily. Taste and adjust salt .
Voila you have a great topping, fresh healthy gnocchi and dinner is served... 90% from the garden!