Banana Pesto Recipe
INSPIRED BY UGANDA
Bananas are a staple in Uganda. From green bananas called matooke to fermented banana wine, Ugandans not only consume the most bananas per person—500 pounds per person per year—but this African country is also the world’s largest banana producer.
While production and consumption are very high, Ugandan people also don’t waste any part of the banana plant. They use banana leaves to make roofs and banana fibers to make clothing and handicrafts.
SAVE FOR LATER
Makes 1 3/4 cups
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups peeled ripe banana (or 2 small bananas)
1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries
1/2 cup orange slices
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 tablespoon honey
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the desired consistency forms.
If using a mortar and pestle, crush the sesame seeds until a fine crumb forms. Add the banana, strawberries, and orange, and mash until fairly smooth. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Mash until the desired consistency forms.
Store pesto in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use throughout the week in the next two recipes. Pesto can last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
Among some Ugandan people, meat is reserved for special celebrations. It may be chicken or beef, and roasted or grilled. When preparing chicken in Uganda, it’s often flavored with salt and then some pineapple or lemon juice to accelerate the cooking time.
In addition to banana, other Ugandan staples include cassava, maize, and yam. It’s seen as a reliable and affordable source of carbs. But cassava didn’t arrive in Uganda until the 19th century. Now, the starchy root appears worldwide in several consumable forms, including cassava flour.