Recipe with Bananas: Thanksgiving Side Dish
I grew up on bananas. Whether sliced up as a side of Cuban picadillo or plantains made in any number of ways, bananas were a staple of my childhood and sneak their way into many of my recipes. Needless to say, this recipe with bananas of roasted sweet potato and banana mash with pecan topping is a signature side dish in our Thanksgiving celebrations. Cooking this banana recipe with Alina is a way we build our legacy and is a huge part of our food culture during the holidays.
2 small/medium sized sweet potatoes
3 ripe bananas
1 cup Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar*
Cinnamon, to taste
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
*You can substitute honey or syrup for the agave, although the end result will definitely be more sweet.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub the sweet potatoes clean without using water (you want them roasted, not steamed, and won’t be using the skin anyway). Prick the sweet potatoes all over and, in a roasting pan, roast for 45 minutes. In the last 10-15 minutes, add the bananas alongside the sweet potatoes – skin and all, just pop them in there. I find that cooking time always vary; just make sure your sweet potatoes are very soft. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh of sweet potato and banana into a mixing bowl.
To the sweet potato and banana mixture, add 1 stick of butter, agave, salt and cinnamon (to taste). I start with a few dashes of each, tasting and adding more as needed. Stir the mixture until you’ve reach your desired consistency, but be sure not to over beat the mixture. Make sure any chunks of banana have been well integrated, too. At this point, you have a tasty sweet potato and banana mash that could easily be consumed, as demonstrated below by my beautiful model. Some nights we we have this simple mash as a side dish, but for Thanksgiving, I ramp up the recipe with a yummy pecan topping.
After you have smoothed out the sweet potato and banana mixture evenly in an oven proof pan, begin making the pecan topping in the same mixing bowl. To the second stick of butter, add flour, chopped pecans and brown sugar. With your hands (or the little fingers in your household – this step is perfect for the kids!) rub all the ingredients together. Be careful not to over mix or the butter will begin to melt. The mixture should resemble coarse chucks. Spread the pecan topping over the sweet potato and banana mixture, being sure to cover the corners. Sprinkle the whole thing with a few more dashes of cinnamon. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until topping has browned.
We bought our Del Monte bananas at Smart and Final. These beauties will be on sale soon, so be sure to stock up for a delicious recipe with bananas. If you’re on Twitter, follow #ChooseSmart for more recipes featuring items on sale at Smart and Final.
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Smart & Final #CBias #SocialFabric. Recipe and opinions expressed are my own.