A few weeks back, my brother Adam, and sister-in-law Michelle, decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and host an impromptu barbeque for a few friends and family. It was a potluck of sorts, and luckily, I had already stocked-up on fresh vegetables at the market that very morning.
I brought roasted asparagus with a bacon-shallot vinaigrette to the gathering. My husband and I are firm believers that “everything tastes better with bacon” although I do love asparagus au naturel too. Kim came with a delicious tossed salad with oranges, cranberries and a balsamic vinaigrette, while Jess’s contribution was a lovely mixed green salad with olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and a sweet-onion dressing. For the entrée, Adam made pork tenderloin two ways: with a dry spice rub; and with an orange-garlic wet rub. Quite some time was spent debating the merits of each.
Of all of the various offerings, by far the most popular was Adam’s “banana basmati rice”, a tribute to the former Uptown Waterloo restaurant, Hannah’s Bella Bistro. Adam and Michelle loved Hannah’s and found themselves in withdrawal when it closed. This popular side dish is one of the items they particularly missed.
Adam did an amazing job recreating the flavours, and even added his own spin on the dish by adding raisins. This rice is delicious served alongside grilled meats and vegetables, or try it “Hannah-Style” with chicken satays and spicy peanut sauce.
banana basmati rice
- 1 cup high quality basmati rice
- 1 very ripe banana, mashed well
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you are pressed for time you can soak the rice in cold water, stir until the water is cloudy, drain, and repeat until the water is no longer cloudy (this takes about 5 or 6 repetitions). Don't skip this step – it’s what gets the starch out of the grains and produces a nice fluffy rice.
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- Add banana, raisins, coconut extract and gently stir to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.