It's a gorgeous day here in Ontario, so today's post will be a short one so that I can get outside and make the most of it before the rain returns tomorrow!
Plantains are one of my favourite things to eat, especially when combined with avocado and other tropical flavours like coconut. My plantain guacamole is one of my favourite recipes on the blog, and it also helped to inspire this dish.
The idea for layered quinoa avocado verrines first came from a recipe that I've made before from Vegetarian Times. While their recipe was more Mexican-flavoured and was topped with sprouts, I went for a tropical version topped with sauteed plantains.
The three components to this recipe all have tropical notes: first is a coconut quinoa made by cooking the quinoa in coconut milk and stirring in a bit of lime zest and toasted coconut flakes; next is a layer of avocado pureed with lime juice and cilantro; and the final component is a layer of sweet ripe plantain slices cooked in coconut oil with a dash of spices.
I could happily eat any of the layers on their own, but they combine to make a creamy and flavourful dish that can either be served in small portions as an appetizer or in larger portions as a main dish. Layering each of the components into a little glass or cup makes for a fun presentation that you can even prepare ahead of time if you're serving them to a group.
Hopefully these tropical flavours will help you get through the last of the cold weather for those of you who are still seeing snow, and let's hope the warmer weather is here to stay!
Layered Verrines with Coconut Quinoa, Avocado and Sauteed Plantains
Inspired by Vegetarian Times
2/3 cup canned coconut milk or coconut milk beverage
1/3 cup dry quinoa
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt
½ tsp lime zest
2 tbsp coconut flakes
1 ripe avocado
1.5 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 ripe yellow plantain, peeled and sliced
Dash of cumin
Dash of cumin
Dash of chili powder
Salt to taste
Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it starts to boil, stir in the quinoa, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff quinoa with a fork and stir in the lime zest and coconut flakes. Keep aside.
Meanwhile, make the avocado sauce: Place the avocado, lime juice, and cilantro in a food processor. Season generously with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is melted, add the sliced plantains and sprinkle them with cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Let cook for 5-6 minutes total, flipping the slices halfway through. Remove from the pan and let drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
To assemble, place a portion of the quinoa in the bottom of each glass (use about 2/3 of the quinoa for this layer). Top with a thick layer of the avocado puree. Next, add a few plaintain slices. Repeat the layers once more, ending with the rest of the plantains on top. Garnish with extra cilantro and coconut flakes if desired.
Makes 3 servings.