Servings: 6 servings
2 ripe plantains
1 pumpkin (see tips), peeled and cubed
8 ounces fresh chestnuts
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1¼ cups milk, warm
2 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
Boiling the pumpkin and plantains:
Peel the pumpkin, seed it and cut it into 2-inch pieces; place them in a large pot. Add the whole, unpeeled plantains. Fill the pot with cold water. It's important to start with cold water so the pumpkin cooks evenly. Bring to a boil, add salt and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
Remove the plantains; the skin should be totally dark and they should split. Once the plantains are cool enough to handle, peel and slice them.
The pumpkin should be fork-tender. Remove from the pot and drain; allow the pumpkin to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Boiling the chestnuts: Place them in a small pot, add water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, cook for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut them in half, then scoop and gather the flesh using a teaspoon.
Pan-frying the bananas:
In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil. Cook the green onions until nicely golden. Toss for a minute until fragrant. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Heat the pan and add the plantain slices. Cook until lightly golden. Turn off the heat.
Assembly time: Using a potato ricer (or a potato masher), mash the plantains. Add the pumpkin and press until you obtain a coarse texture. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir well, using a wooden spoon. Add the chestnuts. Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor), pulse until smooth. Add butter, nutmeg and green onions. Season with salt and white pepper. Stir until well distributed. Check the consistency and adjust seasoning to your taste.
I used bí đỏ, which is a kind of Vietnamese pumpkin that has a starchy texture. You can use any other variety of pumpkin if you can't find this particular one.
The plantains give a subtle sweet flavor. Without them, I find the purée pretty bland.
For the "baby" version, I thinned the purée with an additional ¼ cup milk.
I buy fresh chestnuts at Ranch 99 Market.
For more mashed vegetable recipes, check out the link.