Ripe Plantain Boats (Canoas) with Eggplants are traditionally made by frying the plantains, this is the lighter version, also a vegetarian dish.
I may not be Miss Cleo, but I know what you thought when you saw these Ripe Plantain Boats (Canoas) with Eggplants: 1) "That looks fine!", and 2) "That's not how you make Canoas!".
Yeah, you're right. Canoas -- a Puerto Rican dish -- is typically stuffed with minced beef, and the maduros are fried, which both give it a nice golden color and also add quite a few more calories. There's always a cloud for every silver lining.
The good news is that this version is very good. It will make your stomach and your waist equally happy.
About this recipe
As I mentioned above, this is inspired by the traditional Puerto Rican canoas, made lighter, and easily adaptable for vegans and vegetarians. They will also be a hit with eggplant lovers. These are also easier, and quicker to make.
If you absolutely must have meat in your meal, you can also easily add some of previous meal's leftovers and mix them with the eggplant.
Canoas de Maduros Recipe (Ripe Plantain Boats with Eggplants)
- 6 very ripe plantains , peeled (skin must be partially black)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons oil to grease tray
For the filling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions , diced finely
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 red bell pepper , diced
- 2 large eggplants , washed and diced (unpeeled)
- 6 large tomatoes , diced
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt , or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon dry, crushed oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper , or to taste
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar
- 1 tablespoon sliced chives
Boil plantains: Boil the plantains -having added the salt to the water - until they are fork-tender (about 15 minutes). In the meantime, grease a baking sheet with oil. Remove the plantains from the water, slice along their length, and pull apart to create the boats (discard the central "nerve"). Place on the baking tray and set aside.
Cook filling: Heat olive oil over low heat. Add onions and cook stirring until they turn translucent. Add garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, and eggplants and mix. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through and all liquid has evaporated. Season with cayenne pepper, salt to taste, oregano, and pepper to taste.
Stuff plantains: Divide the filling between the plantains. Top with the cheddar cheese.
Bake: Cook in preheated oven to 350ºF [175 ºC] until cheese is bubbly and starts to turn golden brown (about 20 mins.).
Serving: Garnish with the chives and serve.