Plantains With Jammy Tomatoes and Eggs
Plantains are nutrient-rich starches that can sweeten as they cook, and, in many parts of the world, they find their way into the best stews and porridges. This recipe is based on “tomato eggs,” a dish popular in Lagos, Nigeria, and across West Africa. Tomato eggs can be made with yams or plantains, and here, firm yellow plantains work best because they hold their shape and texture while absorbing the flavors of the surrounding stew. It’s a perfect meal for days when you want something hot but not too heavy or filling. Any herbs you have on hand will work well, and the dish can be made vegan by substituting medium-firm or soft tofu for the eggs. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2firm yellow plantains (about 1 pound)
- 3tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
- 1small yellow onion, chopped
- 2garlic cloves, sliced
- 1(12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
- 1fresh or dried bay leaf
- 1Scotch bonnet pepper or 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 1(14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 4large eggs
- ½cup fresh herbs, such as dill or flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Step 1Cut off the ends of each plantain. Use a sharp knife to slice the peel along the length of each plantain without cutting into the flesh. Remove peels and discard. Cut each plantain into 2-to-3-inch-long pieces, and then cut each piece in half lengthwise.
Step 2Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium until it shimmers. Place the plantains in the skillet with the long cut side down. Sear until the cut sides are deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the plantains to a plate and set aside.
Step 3Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the roasted red peppers and bay leaf, and drop in the Scotch bonnet pepper. Season to taste with salt. Cook, stirring, until the liquid from the roasted peppers evaporates, about 2 minutes.
Step 4Add the whole peeled tomatoes with their liquid. Use a spatula to carefully break the tomatoes into smaller pieces in the skillet. Fill the can with 1 cup water, swirl to rinse it and pour the liquid into the skillet. Raise the heat to high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Allow the sauce to reduce, stirring occasionally, until thickened and about three-quarters its original volume, about 5 minutes. Season with additional salt if necessary.
Step 5Reduce the heat to medium and return the plantains to the skillet, nestling each piece in the sauce seared side up until almost submerged. Cook until the plantains are just soft and the tomatoes are jammy, 4 to 6 minutes. When you poke the plantains with a fork, there should be little resistance.
Step 6Remove and discard the bay leaf and Scotch bonnet pepper. Make four wells in the sauce, spaced out evenly, and gently crack the eggs into the wells one at a time. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Cook until the whites of the eggs are set and the yolks runny, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Garnish with the herbs and serve immediately.