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Bolones de Verde

Ecuadorian food is delicious! The inspiration for this recipe came from a recent Cooking as a First Language class in Tupelo. Try these soon for a simple summer meal.

Recipe by Lauren McElwain

(makes 12-14)

  • 4 green plantains

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • Fresh mozzarella cheese


Bring a pot of water to a boil, and peel the plantains. Cut them into medium-sized chunks, and boil with 1 clove of garlic until tender (about 10 minutes). Pour into a strainer in the sink, and let cool while you make the cilantro pesto.


To make pesto, in a food processor, combine 1 clove of garlic, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until ground into a pesto consistency. Transfer (leaving about ¼ cup in the food processor) to a medium bowl.


Cut the mozzarella cheese into chunks (about the size of a grape), and dredge in the bowl of cilantro pesto. Set aside.


Transfer the plantains to the food processor with the ¼ cup of pesto. Add cumin, and pulse until mashed but still chunky.


To make the balls, grab about a golf-ball sized amount of the plantain mixture. Working with your hands, flatten it, and place some of the pesto-dredged cheese in the center. Form the plantain “dough” into a ball around the cheese. Continue this process until you have used up all of the plantains.


Heat oil in a deep fryer, and when it’s ready, drop the balls in and fry until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel, and sprinkle with a bit more salt.

Serve with fresh fruit or veggies, along with extra lime wedges, and eat while they are hot and the cheese is melted.

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Oxford, Mississippi | United States

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