Under the Lime Tree is a vegetarian guest house in the Charente region of France, specialising in spa breaks and pamper days, as well as gorgeous vegetarian food.

Nikki Emerton, one of the owners of the guest house, now has a cookery book out featuring recipes developed while running Under the Lime Tree.  I came across this recipe from the book in The Vegetarian magazine and knew it just had to be tried.  The combination of bananas and chillies was a new one on me (and on many people I’d have thought!), and it certainly worked, giving what would otherwise be a fairly plain dessert option (bananas and ice cream) some much needed pep!

I used a chopped dried chilli which was probably hotter than a sprinkle of chilli powder, but that was calmed down wonderfully by a delicious vegan ice cream.  The option is given to use either maple syrup as I did, or caramel sauce, which I imagine would give a very different flavour, but one that would go really well with the bananas.

Nik’s Red Hot Nanas

Serves 4
4 ripe bananas
1/2 lemon, juiced
knob of butter
1 dessertspoon caramel sauce or (I used) 1 dstsp maple syrup
1 tbsp raw can sugar
a dash of water if necessary
a gentle sprinkle of hot chilli pepper

Peel and slice the bananas into a bowl then squeeze the lemon juice over to prevent them from discolouring while you make the sauce.

Drop the knob of butter into a pan and gently heat through.  Add either the caramel sauce or maple syrup, then the brown sugar and stir well.  you may need a dash of water if the sauce appears too thick.

Add the sliced bananas and mix in without breaking up the bananas if possible.

Srpinkle with hot chilli pepper – sparingly, stir in, then serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.

Red Hot Nanas as they sizzle in the pan