Photograph by Bill Phelps Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Tostone with Mojo, Avocado, and Watermelon Radish

Starters from Issue 5 – Spring / Summer 2014 – Caravan

Twice-fried plantain discs mirroring the desert’s sun-baked terrain are topped with a tidy heap of diced avocado and radish, then doused in a mojo sauce. The magic is, as its name implies, in the mojo.

serves 6

  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • small handful cilantro, finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp)
  • cup olive oil
  • 3 green plantains
  • 1½ to 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 small-medium watermelon radish, peeled and julienned (about 1 cup)
  • 1 avocado, very finely diced
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

  • 1

    Mojo: In a small bowl, whisk garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt.

  • 2

    Tostones: Plantains are tricky to peel. First, cut off both ends. Score the peel of the plantain twice, running lengthwise from end to end about 1-inch apart. Pry off the peel between the scored lines and peel off the remainder. Then, slice plantains into 1-inch rounds.

  • 3

    Heat ½-inch of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Oil should be hot enough to sizzle a plantain.) Fry plantains, in batches, until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray. While plantains are still warm, smash with the bottom of something sturdy and flat like a bowl or sauté pan.

  • 4

    Add a bit more oil so there’s still ½-inch; bring it back up to temperature. Fry the flattened plantains until crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a freshly-lined plate and sprinkle with sea salt.

  • 5

    Toss avocado with ½ of the mojo. Top each plantain with a spoonful of avocado and garnish with radish. Drizzle with the remaining mojo and serve immediately.