Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Baked Cassava with Za'atar Seasoning!

Cassava aka Yucca Root

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting with my friend David of Florida Survival Gardening.  He has a fantastic yard filled with all kinds of wild and cultivated plants.  He also sells many of these so you may want to check him out!  His blog is filled with a wealth of foraging and gardening ideas.

Photo of us from Florida Survival Gardening!
He was kind enough to give me a Cassava root, Manihot esculenta aka Yucca, for cooking and a stick from the plant which I immediately put in water when I got home and it is now rooting!  It may not survive Tennessee winters but it is a nice experiment.  I will probably put it out in the spring to see how it grows.

Cassava is a really cool looking plant and the huge roots are wonderful starchy tubers.  The plant is of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) from South-American origin. You can not eat the roots raw, so they must be boiled for at least 20 minutes before you put them in a dish. They taste like a nutty potato.  When you first pick the root, the skin is easy to peel off.  Of course mine sat in the fridge for a week and took a little more time to peel off, but I was able to do it with my fingers.

Cut the root into sections and boil for 20 minutes.

After boiling the sections, you must cut into wedges and then cut the center fibrous part off.  You want the outer white part.

Coat the strips of Cassava root with olive oil.  Add seasoning of choice.  I tried traditional and wild herb Za'atar seasoning.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until desired crispness of edges.

Both varieties turned out great.  It is wonderful served with your favorite sour cream or yogurt sauce.

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