Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pura Vida....Travel Journey to Costa Rica and Green Plantain Ceviche

Nestled between Nicaragua to its north, and Panama to the southeast, and sharing two coastlines with the Pacific and the Caribbean lies the Republic of Costa Rica.  

With a 3-hour car ride from the Liberia airport to our first adventure in the Arenal region there was plenty of time to soak up the scenic landscape.  Miles of sugar cane and pineapple farms, long windy roads with twists and turns, and plenty of pot holes makes for a memorable ride.  A country flushed with rainforests, tropical fauna, active volcanoes, pristine coast lines, abundant wildlife its hard not to fall in love with Costa Rica.

Costa Ricans or "Ticos" as they commonly refer to themselves are friendly, warm and inviting. This country has a lot of soul.   Pura Vida (Pure Life) is a common expression often used to remind you to relax, and enjoy life.  It's an emotion, an attitude, its a way of life. 

No trip for us would be complete without enjoying the local cuisine.  We seek it out.  Strolling the town center at noon, we noticed a group of local workers surrounding several car trunks where lunch was being served.  Without hesitation we got into line and for about $8 for two we feasted on stewed chicken, Gallo Pinto (beans and rice), yucca, fried plantains, topped with a tangy cabbage slaw right out of pots in the car trunk. Score! A friendly local told me local cuisine include "beans and rice for breakfast, beans and rice for lunch and rice and beans for dinner".

A memorable side dish enjoyed with one lunch was a local ceviche made with green bananas. Fresh and simplistic, it was delightful. This dish stayed with me all the way home.  Green plantain has the texture of a white fish without well, the fish.   There are numerous ways to prepare this dish but, this is my crack at it.  So, next time you need a little summer in your winter or you are prepared to fire up the grill, or impress your friends with your pot luck dish... Here you go!

Green Plantain Ceviche (Ceviche de Plátano Verde)
Serves 6-8


2-3 green plantains (not ripe), cut in half
2 medium colorful bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), diced
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (or a high quality juice)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil.  Place the halved unpeeled plantains in the pan and cook for approximately 20 minutes (you should see the peel coming away from the banana) or until the banana is still slightly firm.  Remove from the pan.  Set aside.  Cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the peppers, red onion, garlic cloves, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar and cilantro.

Peel and dice the cooled bananas. Add to the other ingredients.  Toss. Chill for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to marinate.



Angie Schneider said...

wow how exotic and delicious! I have never seen green plantain over here..really wonder how they taste in ceviche.

Michelle said...

I have never tried a green plantain. Your recipe looks quite delicious!

That Girl said...

I don't like fish, so ceviche isn't my thing. This looks like the perfect way for me to enjoy it!

Laura Dembowski said...

This is so inviting with all the colors. The flavors sound just as good together.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a wonderful trip it must have been. This looks beautiful and so refreshing and delicious, Velva!

Rumana Ambrin said...

This looks beautiful..

grace said...

this is a ceviche i'd actually like! what a refreshing blend of flavors and colors. i'm jealous of your trip!

Pam said...

What a great trip, Velva! Your ceviche looks delicious, very refreshing and colorful!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

This is so different and delicious sounding. I can't wait to give it a try.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Just wanted to stop back by. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a great New Year.

London Kitchen Diaries said...

Would love to visit Costa Rica & try the local cuisine. The Green Plantain Ceviche looks delicious! Happy New Year!

Marcelle @ A Little Fish in the Kitchen said...

This colorful dish has me dreaming of summer, Velva! I know Evan and I will enjoy this veggie ceviche when the heat starts up again. It sure sounds like you had an amazing vacation! :)

N. Kelly said...

Amazing margaritas, thank you! I also see that you are into skillet cooking... Which one would you recommend? I have this one:

Post a Comment