Although I haven’t opened it in years, the Silver Palate Cookbook is probably my favorite cookbook and what opened my culinary world up to my non-Croatian staples. Never heard of it? Here’s a recent article from Bon Appetit, because really anyone looking to make great homemade food that doesn’t take half a day (though I’m very guilty of doing that anyway) should really get it. For a little background, the Silver Palate started out as a shop on the upper west side of Manhattan that has long since closed, but lives on in this James Beard award winning masterpiece (and also a line of products put out by a company that bought the name, but I wouldn’t bother with that). Anyway, there really isn’t a single recipe that isn’t fantastic. My favorite though is their banana bread, which I use to make any time I had a few over ripe bananas on the counter (ok, so maybe I purposely let them overripe a few …or more….times just to have an excuse to make it. 🙂 ) I’ve only changed the recipe slightly as I don’t usually keep whole wheat flour in my pantry (they do 1 cup of whole wheat/1 cup of unbleached all-purpose) and added 2 more bananas since I have a tendency to always add a bit more fruit or whatever to recipes.
- 8 tablespoon of butter, softened plus more for greasing the pan
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 5 large ripe bananas, mashed (I usually do this in a ziplock bag)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of walnuts, crushed (I usually just put mine in a ziplock bag and pound with a rolling pin)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius. Grease whatever you are planning to bake the banana bread in with a bit of butter (unless you are using silicone, which doesn’t require greasing.)
Next, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then incorporate the eggs, one at a time. Gradually add the flour mixture into the cream mixture and finally fold in the bananas, walnuts, and vanilla.
Bake until a cake tester comes out clean (about an hour if baking in a loaf pan, 30 minutes for muffins) and the bread is a golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.