While travelling to Central America, I began to appreciate the beautiful texture and flavor of the yucca root. Also called cassava, tapioca or manioc, this is one of the staple tubers of the world, so becoming acquainted with a simple means of cooking it not only makes you a better cook, but broadens your flavor horizons. This is one of the easiest yucca recipes, and is based on a dish served to me in a Nicaraguan home.
- 2 cups yucca root, peeled and cubed
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 tbl flour
- Vegetable oil
- ½ block soft tofu
- 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Simmer the yucca root with the garlic cloves in a large pot of boiling water with several generous pinches of salt. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pieces are easily pierced with a fork. Drain off the water and mash the yucca with the soft garlic and flour until smooth.
- Heat the oil, 1-inch deep, on high in a deep-bottomed frying pan, until a drop of water flicked in sizzles. Create small golf ball sized pieces from the yucca root mixture, and press them into rounds ½-inch thick.
- Fry the yucca pieces for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towel.
- Meanwhile, blend the tofu, black pepper, basil, oregano, lemon, sugar and balsamic together until smooth. Salt to taste.
- Serve the yucca with tofu drizzled on top.