Archive for April 22nd, 2012

Welcome to my new series, Out of the Recipe Box. As you may have guessed from the title, this series will explore new ingredients, sometimes scary and always out of the ‘recipe’ box! This of course means I will be experimenting with ingredients I have never used before — I’m hoping with the enormous volume of info on the net, it will be much less guess-work than it might have been 20 years ago! I’m hoping. My intention is to post once a month for this series. Hey, if you have a suggestion and I can source it, I may just make it!

My first inspiration: I was walking in our new grocery store at Maple Leaf Gardens (they have just an incredible variety of everything, in fact, it is where this new series came to me!) and I spotted a Banana Flower. What the heck is THAT? was my first thought. It is certainly exotic enough, but will I be able to find a recipe I would want to eat? After much research I have found a few recipes, instructional videos that I will share with you. I hope you enjoy this series — and as usual, I adore your feedback.

What is really strange about the choice of vegetable is that I had never heard of it previously and shortly after I decided it would premiere my Out of the Recipe box series, Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella posts a restaurant review and a photo of the banana flower salad! Go figure!

The banana flower salad. An interesting combination of Asian Flavours

After much searching, I decided on this recipe by Tara Shetty over at Indian Food Blog, but before you go out and get yourself a banana flower, beware that preparing the flower is quite a tedious process. It secretes a sticky gell, so you must wear gloves or constantly oil your hands because I have read it is virtually impossible to remove. I used this video to help me figure out how to properly prepare the banana flower. Would I make it again? I doubt it, but it was an interesting experiment!

The coconut and tamarind really added the sweetness that the recipe needed for my taste, otherwise it can be a bit bitter

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