If you’ve never heard of yucca before, you heard about it here first! Also known as cassava or manioc, yucca is a tuberous, hardy and starchy root found in tropical climes such as Africa, Southeast Asia, southern China and the Caribbean, but also known to be a staple food consumed by the Native Americans and pre-Columbian people hundreds of years ago. You may be most familiar with the flour- also known as tapioca, which is made from its roots.
It’s also good for you- its high in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.
I usually make yucca mashed like potatoes with only the addition of butter and salt. It has such a creamy flavor, you might even prefer it over mashed potatoes like I do. I recently decided to make fried yucca, a decision I was happy about. It was so delicious and even satiated that craving for french fries!
1 long yucca root
4 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
- Boil yucca in a large pot of water for approximately 45 minutes, or until very soft. Poke with a sharp knife to make sure it’s thoroughly soft.
- Allow to cool then remove thick outer skin as well as thin, stringy cord in the middle.
- Roughly chop into semi-thick pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is hot, add the yuca pieces and salt. Sauté until brown on one side, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Turn each piece over carefully, using a fork or even a fish spatula. Heat the other sides for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the extra oil, if any.
Enjoy as a side dish to fish, meat or as a stand-alone snack.