Think what you will of bananas (my friend Alden wrote a particularly scathing review), but they’re more versatile than you think. I’m prone to treating them the way that a cad uses women: I don’t particularly like them (alright, I’ll say it, I’m not that into them), but I’ll eat them anyway because they’re convenient and easy when nothing better is around.
They’re always relegated to being thrown into purses and lunch boxes as an afterthought or a last resort for quick sustenance, forced down middle school soccer players’ throats at half time (or is that orange slices? Is there even a half time in soccer? I was never very athletic), but this is all probably because they are very portable, require no washing or slicing and the peeling is so easy, even the busiest and laziest people can do it themselves. (I will admit to having not eaten a single apple off the core until freshmen year of college because my mother always insisted on peeling and cutting up all our fruit for us. She also misted us with Evian while we sunned ourselves by the pool. Just kidding… about the second part.)
Anyway, I got to thinking about bananas after a recent marathon viewing of Arrested Development and its incessant mentions of the Bluth family frozen banana stand. It reminded me of an unusual but surprisingly delicious recipe I got from an ex-boyfriend, whose only other recipe was a basic risotto. I think he used both in tandem to seduce women before they could catch on to the fact that he could only make two things.
It sounds gross and looks even grosser. In fact, I debated even posting a picture. It looks like someone’s Yorkie pooped on a half-rotten banana, but keep an open mind and you might be pleasantly surprised:
Roasted Banana with Chocolate
Preheat oven to broil
Line baking sheet with tin foil
Peel one side of a banana, leaving the sides and bottom of the peel on.
Grate dark chocolate onto the peeled side. (The only chocolate I could find in my apartment was a half- eaten box of Godiva truffles someone had given me for my birthday. I grated one the best I could until the ganache started oozing out all over my hands. Perhaps my less than ideal chocolate source was responsible for its unappetizing appearance. I think he chopped a chocolate bar, but I’m inclined to think chocolate chips would look prettier and provide a more consistent texture.)
Place chocolate-covered banana on baking sheet and place in oven and broil for about 5 minutes. The peel will turn completely dark and does a nice job of insulating the heat and protecting the banana from burning.
Allow it to cool slightly. Serve in the peel, eat with a spoon.
I made this the other day and my boyfriend was surprised at how “juicy” a banana could taste. The texture will probably surprise you. It teeters on the edge of baby food consistency but since it’s warm, the ooey gooeyness can be delish and is a nice contrast to the baked chocolate.
Also, for something cooler for summer, here’s a simple smoothie recipe:
Put one banana, 1/2 a cup of ice, 1/2 a cup of milk and a tablespoon of honey in to a blender and blend until smooth and a little frothy. (You can change the proportions as you see fit, but this should work as a general guideline.) Sip with a straw while you read this informative piece about the literary and religious significance of milk and honey. Did I take the fun out of smoothies? Sorry. I thought it was interesting.