This week’s theme, West African, gifted me the opportunity to work with plantain and yam, two semi-standard produce items I tend to ignore.
As ugly as this once-green plantain now is, it’s still kicking inside. I’d like to applaud myself for spending weeks with this blackening fruit and not turning it into some kind of pseudo-banana bread.
Peanut is a common feature in West Africa sauces and stews. Here, it made the base of the pizza using the broad stroke flavors of this recipe’s sauce to create my own.
Unlike a well-ripened banana, plantains seem to keep their structure even in their old age. It took more effort than expected to mash in shallots and cayenne for a tatale recipe.
The plantain cakes caramelized in the pan, some more than other, which gave it a candied sweetness. Cornmeal can be mixed in to the batter to create a more stable texture.
Meanwhile, yam was cut up, boiled and mashed for an addition of fufu to the pizza, an admittedly silly topping when considering fufu’s role as a starchy vessel to assist in eating other dishes.
Peanuts are crushed to finish the pizza.
The peanut sauce is liberally applied and the plantains divvied up to see at least one piece per slice. Fufu and peanut crumbles finish the pie.
And without the use of cheese, this pizza turned out accidentally vegan.
Pretty damn tasty vegan pizza. And the wine pairing only improved the situation.
The sweeter flavors of plantain and yam needs a style with more luscious fruit to offer. Jaffurs’ Santa Barbara Viognier of Bien Nacido Vineyard offers pineapples and peaches with a rounded texture that dances quite nicely alongside our pie. The two complement each other without either pizza or wine taking over the experience.