Tostones With Hibiscus Lemon Puree

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This is a very simple preparation that can act as breakfast, afternoon tea treat, or dessert.

As you may remember we have a hibiscus plant in our front yard and although we have lived in this house for 5 years, it was not until March of this year that I picked or cooked with any of its flowers.

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Already this year I have made tea and enchiladas using the dried flowers, yet each week I have a bigger bumper crop that begs for more use.  With plenty of tea for weeks, I decided to make a fruit puree this week with more of the dried leaves.

Ingredients:

1 large plantain (wait until the plantain is nearly uniformly black)

6 dried hibiscus flowers (simply dry your petals on a newspaper outside or, alternatively, in the oven or toaster at 300 degrees for 15 minutes)

1/2 preserved lemon (you may also use 1 Tsp lemon zest, the juice of 1 lemon, or chopped up sautéed lemon, rind and all)

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp agar agar (you may also use cornstarch)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 Tbps coconut oil

Instructions:

1.  To the dried hibiscus petals add 1/4 cup water and heat until boiling.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  (letting them sit longer will only yield a more tart and delicious flavor so do not worry about leaving to sit for up to 2 hours)

2.  Transfer petals and water to a blender.  Add lemon, vanilla and honey.  Puree.

3.  Pour puree into a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add agar agar and stir vigorously with a whisk for 30 seconds.  Turn heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the plantains.

4.  Heat coconut oil over high heat.  Slice plantain and sauté over high heat for 1 minute.  Lower to medium heat and flip plantain slices.  Saute over medium heat for 3 minutes.

5.  Plate plantain slices and drizzle hibiscus puree over the top.  Enjoy!

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