Recipes: Banana dishes

Tasty yet nutritious, bananas are the starting point for interesting main dishes and crowd-pleasing desserts

Bananas are a valuable form of nutrition, but that apart, they are just so delicious, and such a useful snack when you’re feeling peckish, especially when sliced onto oatcakes spread with peanut butter. Bananas are surprisingly versatile, for instance, in the baked lemon and curry butter baked salmon with caramelised sliced bananas, which may sound odd to some, but is one of my favourite ways of eating salmon. The classic, Maryland Chicken, consists of fried chicken pieces served with sweetcorn pancakes and fried bananas. 

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I’m not a fan of banana bread, but bananas slow braised in a buttery caramel is little short of perfection, especially when the dish is spiked with grated orange and rum, as in the recipe below. This needs either crème fraiche or vanilla ice-cream to go with it.

Banana custard is an old family favourite, but with little effort it can be elevated into a dinner party pud, by making your own vanilla custard with cream and egg yolks, and by adding diced stem ginger to the custard – ginger and bananas are a dream taste combination, especially when bound by the best vanilla custard.