The Washington Post

Green Banana Cashew Sauce

- Recipe tested by Olga Massov; email questions to food@washpost.com

8 servings (makes about 2 cups)

This creamy sauce looks like it has mayo in it, but the base ingredient is actually a green banana puree. Blended with cashews and tomato paste, the puree turns into a versatile sauce. Straight out of the blender, the loose version can be drizzled atop roasted vegetables or used as a salad dressing. Refrigerat­ed, it turns into a thick paste, ideal as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.

Active time: 15 mins; Total time: 1 hour plus 2 hours’ soaking time MAKE AHEAD: The cashews must be soaked for 2 hours before making the sauce. If treating this sauce as a dip, it needs to be refrigerat­ed for 4 hours before serving to thicken.

The banana puree can be refrigerat­ed in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The sauce can be refrigerat­ed in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It will thicken as it chills. To loosen, add a splash of water until the desired consistenc­y is achieved.

Ingredient­s For the puree

1 pound unripe, very green

bananas in their peel (about 3 bananas)

1 cup water, plus more as

needed

For the sauce

1/2 cup (2 ounces) raw cashews,

soaked in warm water for 2 hours, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup room-temperatur­e water

1 cup (8 1/4 ounces) green

banana puree

2 tablespoon­s extra-virgin olive

oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste,

preferably double-concentrat­ed

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or

more to taste

1 large clove garlic, peeled

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, or

more to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or

more to taste

1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table

salt, or more to taste

Steps

Make the green banana puree:

In a medium pot, cover the bananas with water to submerge them; the bananas will bob up and down. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the water is at a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the bananas soften, 35 to 40 minutes. While the bananas are still warm, peel them and transfer the flesh to a blender and add with 1 cup of water. Blend until creamy. Transfer the puree to an airtight container and refrigerat­e until needed (see NOTE). You should get about 2 1/2 cups.

Make the green banana-cashew

sauce: In a blender, combine the cashews, water, 1 cup of the green banana puree, olive oil, tomato paste, lime juice, garlic, paprika, cumin and salt and blend until creamy, about 1 minute. Taste, and season with additional lime juice, paprika, salt and/or cumin, if desired.

If using as a sauce, serve im

mediately drizzled on top of vegetables, grains or beans. To thicken it into a spread or dip, transfer the sauce into an airtight container and refrigerat­e for about 4 hours, or until it is the texture of mayonnaise. Serve with crackers, toast or vegetables, or as a spread in sandwiches or wraps. NOTE: After about 1 day of refrig

eration, the green banana puree will stiffen and become more solid. To use it, measure or weigh out the necessary amount, then whisk in a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is the desired consistenc­y.

Nutrition | Per serving: 93 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydra­tes, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholestero­l, 120 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar

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