Still fantasizing about beautiful, warm weather, and that brings me to Brazil. The food was incredible all 'round (well, except maybe for that weird room temperature, unseasoned broccoli at every meal), but what really stuck with me was the wide variety of fruits and fruit juices served all day long. I drank cashew juice (you really have to get that one sweetened, however), ate amazing berries and melons I couldn't pronounce, and perhaps most amazingly, I learned to like bananas. This is no small feat for me, as for most of my life I have grown queasy at the mere smell of them. But in Brazil there were so many varieties, textures, and flavors of banana and plantain (as well as many people insisting I try each one), that I finally got over it. So, in appreciation to Brazil and its citizens for opening my world, I bring you what I hope is a responsible rendition of some simple baked bananas I had there. They are surprisingly good with a grilled cheese sandwich, or just alongside black beans and rice.
Brazilian Baked Bananas
Serves 4 as a side
4 large, ripe bananas or sweet plantains
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of butter.
Peel the bananas/plantains and cut on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange in single layer and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Bake, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until bananas are golden brown and very tender.