Traditional Escabeche de Guineos!!

This is a super easy and SUPER delicious salad that is served cold, or at room temperature, and is great for large groups. Like most good salads lots of marinating time is needed so make sure to prepare a day in advance!

Escabeche is a sauce that is used for pickling. In the Caribbean we use this for bananas, roots, and fish recipes, while in Mexico it is very popular for peppers like Jalapeños and Serranos and other vegetables. I fell in love with this salad while visiting the Kioscos Luquillo, a long line of kiosks along the beach next to the Blue Flag beach in the town of Luquillo. I love the full taste of the salad was surprised that it doesn't have the extreme tartness that pickling is usually associated with.

The recipe:

6 green bananas (not plantains!)
1 small yellow onion cut into strips or circles
½ red bell pepper sliced or diced
1 or 2 garlic cloves smashed
3 bay leaves
1 tbs. whole pepper corns
2 tbs. + ½ cup good olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
olives or capers (optional)

Peel the bananas and slice into ½ inch rounds. Boil for 9-12 minutes, or until the banana is softer but still firm, and by no means mushy. Drain.

Meanwhile in a frying pan, heat the 2 tbs. olive oil and very slowly cook the onions and red pepper without browning or making them crispy. Once the onions are transleucent add the pepper corns, bay leaves, salt and garlic and sautee for another 2 minutes to release the flavor. Transfer mixture to an airtight container, add 1 cup olive oil, olives or capers, and the vinegar. Mix well and chill for at least 12 hours, shaking or stirring every few hours.

Feel free to double or triple the recipe for larger groups (you can judge by the number of rounds there are before cooking), and have fun by adding cubed yucca or taro root!