One of my readers (let’s call her Isabelle) gave me an unprecedented food challenge. Though I tried earnestly, I must admit I couldn’t rise to the challenge. However, I’d like to offer a stunning alternative, and hope dear Isabelle shares my taste in food! (Six friends voted “love” for this one!) Here were the criteria:

Married to a Chilean, Isabelle wants to impress her in-laws when they come to visit by surprising them with a Chilean-inspired dish. She requested a Spanish Tortilla, replacing the potatoes with green plantains. The only catch, her husband is allergic to eggs: the glue to this dish! 



I slogged through vegan and egg-free recipes online for spanish tortillas, none of which were convincing. I planned to test a recipe using soymilk and silken tofu, but at the end of the day I was terrified of scaring off Isabelle’s in-laws with starchy, green plantains in a gelatinous soy mold. On top of that, the sun has been beaming so brightly into my kitchen that both times I bought plantains they ripened to yellow before I could get my hands on them. Maduros are sweet, and hardly suited for a savory dish.

So, I resorted to a surefire recipe that would surely blend cultures with style and total originality! Dig in!


Just divine served with vanilla ice cream!




Cultural Immersion: Plantain & Coconut Crisp

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings


  • Filling:
  • Plantains – 6 plantains
  • Coconut milk – 1 (13-ounce) can coconut milk
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • Raisins – 1/3 cup
  • Crisp Topping:
  • Oats – 2 cups, rolled
  • Whole wheat flour – 1/3 cup
  • Sunflower seeds – 1/3 cup
  • Coconut – 1/3 cup, shredded
  • Maple syrup or Honey – 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon, ground
  • Nutmeg – 1/4 teaspoon, freshly ground
  • Butter – 1 stick of cold butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Peel the skins off the plantains by making a lengthwise incision and peeling off the skin like a jacket.
  3. Slice the plantains on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Place them in an oven proof dish, with space for two layers of plantains.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. Pour over the plantains.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the crisp topping ingredients, except for the butter. Using a sharp knife, add slivers of butter to the topping until you’ve mixed in the entire stick. You can use your hands to mix it into the topping, forming big crumbs. Layer the topping over the plantain filling.
  6. Bake the coconut-plantain crisp for 30 minutes.


Allergens: dairy

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