Femme Brûlée: Caramelized Bananas in Maple Walnut Sauce over Labneh

If you’re a foodie or into keeping up with culinary trends, you may have noticed there’s a whole lot of love around Labneh going on. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting labneh yet, it’s a middle eastern yogurt/cream cheese fusion that’s perfect for swooping things through. It’s thicker than greek yogurt, thinner than cream cheese, creamy as can be and has a tang comparable to buttermilk. In the last few months I’ve seen labneh topped dishes popping up all over Los Angeles and I love it cause I can’t get enough. I’ve had it with pita and roasted vegetables, as the base for my honey citrus salad, and at breakfast full of granola. It’s also incredible swirled into tomato soup. Earlier today I saw a recipe for preserved lemon and labneh cheesecake that I will be making as soon as I finish writing this. Of all the adornments for labneh I’ve tried – these bananas are in a league of their own.

The warm caramelized bananas alone are a treat, but coated in this deep maple and brown sugar sweetened sauce that essentially candies the walnuts, they’re mouthwatering.Then you place all this warm, actually melt in your mouth, goodness over the cool, tangy cloud of labneh and its expectation exceedingly delicious. The labneh curbs the sweetness of the bananas and almost absorbs them into it’s creaminess leaving just the walnuts behind for a nice crunch. Using a base of labneh rather than ice cream also lands this solidly in the group of desserts that are also breakfast approved! I would happily eat this for breakfast every day. I literally rolled my head back and let out a deep guttural groan when I took my first bite so I really mean it – I would eat this every damn day. My taste tester said that if they went to a new restaurant and ordered this, they would go back just to order it again, so just do yourself a favor. Buy some bananas this week, look to your local mediterranean or specialty food store (if your grocery store doesn’t have it) for some labneh, and get this into your life.

Ingredients:

4 large just ripe bananas, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped.
1 cup labneh

Serves 4

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the brown sugar, rum, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne (if using). Whisk everything together until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble. About 2 minutes.

2. Once the sauce is bubbling, stir in the walnuts, making sure every piece gets coated. Then add half the banana slices to the skillet cut side down. Cook for about two minutes or until golden brown and caramelized.

3. Flip them very very carefully and cook on the other side for two additional minutes. Remove from the skillet. Repeat with the remaining slices of banana.

4. Spread about a 1/4 cup of labneh on each plate, then place two slices of banana on top and drizzle with the walnut sauce.

Swoop that banana through the labneh. Don’t be surprised when your eyes roll back in enjoyment.

Reneice Charles is a just another queer, liberal, woman of color using the Internet to escape from reality and failing miserably. She received her MSW from New York University and is an Entrepreneur and Vocalist living in Los Angeles. She spends her spare time wishing she didn't have to use her spare time convincing people that everyone deserves the same basic human rights.

Reneice has written 101 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. I want everyone to know that I literally just 30 minutes ago made this (I had to use Greek Yogurt! I’m sorry Reneice, it’s what was in the fridge and I COULD NOT WAIT I NEEDED THOSE BANANAS IN MY MOUTH) and it was so amazing wow omg you need to eat this.

    I look forward to making it AGAIN (much like the introduction implies), this time with its rightful labneh.

    • Carmen! Ah! Thank you! And its funny cause I was going to make a note that if you can’t find labneh you can use greek yogurt but I REALLY want people to try to find it cause its just…different but anyway yes its also bomb with greek yogurt and im so glad you made it!!!

  2. A cafe where I used to live in Surry Hills (Sydney) used to serve pretty much exactly this but as a side to brioche french toast… although I think they used macadamias instead of walnuts. About a year and half ago the cafe got new owners and I had to stop going because even though they kept the same menu they just couldn’t get the balance right in any of the dishes. I was so sad!!! (Yes I am very aware of what a Surry Hills cliche that is, but honestly, we moved to the Blue Mountains so clearly I am a walking stereotype.)

  3. I’m lebanese and have been eating labneh my whole life, it’s always funny when some food from your culture is popular all of a sudden.. anyway I just made this and the contrast worked great. Absolutely delicious!

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.