Friday, 1 June 2012

Cookbook: Cinnamon Banana Side Dish

A blogpost a day keeps the boredom away, dear reader. But three posts in a row chases the audience off your page! Overtaken by emotion, and pressed onward by my indignation at the callous, heartless leadership of Europe, I posted two texts yesterday, and promised a third: this cookblog post. Now, I am a man of honour, and must keep my promises. But to compensate, I’ll make this a short one. Today I will merely tell you how to make the simplest, easiest, quickest and most marvellous little side dish that goes with just about any meal.

What is so special about a side dish? And why should you know how to prepare them? Well, if you have any sort of experience with hosting dinners, you may have noticed that guests are often most impressed with, and most pleased by, a great variety of different dishes on the table. Give them a marvellous roast, which took you three hours to prepare to perfection, and they will be grateful and satisfied. BUT: give them that same roast, PLUS three different sauces (each of which costs you 5 minutes at most to whip up) and they will applaud you, worship you and sing your praises socially as if you were Coco CarĂªme himself! It is how the human diner works. Choice gratifies. And it takes surprisingly little to increase choice. This tenet is at the heart of Please through Ease, half my culinary motto.

So to work without more ado. Get one fairly ripe banana for each diner. Peel, and cut into ½ cm slices. Spread the slices randomly on a plate (no higher than two layers, I suggest). Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Now take a spoon and the jar of your favourite honey. Drip threads of honey all over the banana. Let this calmly sit for at least half an hour. Serve next to the main course. You’ll be surprised how pleasant it is to alternate the fork between the roast – for instance – and this cool, sweet, fruity mouthful.

Of course, you can decorate the cinnamon banana with all sorts of things (like the dry raisins in the picture above). Also, you can mix the banana with slices of apple for extra effect. Neither, however, is necessary in my view.

Finally: note that children LOVE this stuff. In fact: if you promise them one bite of the side dish for every bite of the spinach, you will never wage another spinach war on your dinner table!


  1. I love the cinnamon, banana and honey combo in my oatmeal too. I make oats in the morning, slice up a banana, add a teaspoon of honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon and it's delicious :)

  2. Indeed! The possibilities for further variation are many and most inviting. Another one, for adults who don’t mind a little alcohol, is to sprinkle the dish with a few drops of brandy, or rum; in which case it can serve as a desert.

  3. Five minutes to whip up a sauce? Please show me one, and exclude the ones from envelopes and cans.

    Thank you,

    SF Bay Area

  4. Dear Jorge,

    We are of course talking of simple sauces, which will do the trick splendidly! And it will come as no surprise to you that these are Mayonnaise-based. Show you one? I have already posted two so far in the Cookbook: the Aioli Al Fredo and the Uncommon Curry sauce. There are a few more which I will post in due course. Granted: these start from a ready Mayo, either made by hand previously or a good quality bottled brand. Which is as far as I will go in the pre-fab realm, for I agree entirely with you that the stuff that comes out of 'envelopes and cans' is loathsome, unhealthy and somewhat of an insult to your guests or your family.

    Yours, sincerely, Alfred