Lena Sareini

Brown-Butter Banana Bread
Rating: Unrated
Brown butter adds a deep, caramel-like note of nutty richness to this decadent make-ahead banana bread. To hit the proper note, 2020 F&W Best New Chef Lena Sareini insists on waiting until your bananas are extremely ripe—very speckled and mushy. “Be patient,” she says. “That’s the only way the banana flavor is going to show through.” For an easy next-level topping, make this Banana-Caramel Sauce.
Banana-Caramel Sauce
Rating: Unrated
This super-fast sauce comes together in just minutes and makes a next-level topping for Lena Sareini's Brown-Butter Banana Bread. Chunks of sweet, ripe banana get pureed into the cooked caramel, yielding a thick, rich sauce that amplifies the rich flavor of the banana bread.
This dessert is all about contrast—in temperature, texture, and flavor. Smooth and creamy panna cotta is paired with a lightly floral, lightly sweet granita for an icy, cool bite. A base of tangy, tart apricot jam and a garnish of crispy crumbled toasted baguette finishes off each plate.