Yep, that vegetable was a yucca or cassava. Is it like a potato? Not really, its taste is distinct and wonderful. However, just like the potato, it is very versatile.
INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
- 1 Large yucca (about 1 pound)
- Olive oil, as needed
- 10 cloves of garlic (or as much garlic as you like), mashed in a mortar with some salt till pasty
- Salt, to taste
- 1 cup of brown lentils
- 1 Large tomato, diced
- 1 medium onion or 3 scallions, minced
- 1/3 cup of minced parsley
- 1 Tablespoon of red pepper paste or 1 red pepper
- 1 Large lemon
For the lentils:
- Cook the lentils in 3 cups of water till tender, which will take about 30 minutes. When the water almost evaporates, add the diced tomato and simmer a few minutes longer. Remove from the heat and cool a few minutes; add the minced parsley, chopped scallions, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, a tablespoon of red pepper paste or a diced red pepper and a teaspoon (or more) of mashed garlic. Taste and adjust seasoning.
For the yucca:
- Peel and boil the yucca in plenty of salted water till a knife inserted comes out easily, which should take about 30 minutes.
- Cool and cut in small dice; heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet and add the diced yucca, stir-frying it in the olive oil for about 10 minutes until golden and crisp; add the mashed garlic at the end of cooking to keep it pungent and tasty and let it coat the yucca as much as possible. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
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