Turn yam into yum

It’s easy for this veg­etable dish to be­come a ve­gan one – sim­ply swap the yo­ghurt for a non-dairy al­ter­na­tive.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - FOOD WITH SAM MANNERING - Pho­to­graphs Styling/ Sam Man­ner­ing

Yams are such a fave of mine. We’ve been grow­ing them here in New Zealand since the 1860s. They orig­i­nate from the An­des, so are a very hardy crop. We have this on the menu at Homestead and I’m kind of ob­sessed with it. There’s some­thing about yams and sumac. It’s like cat­nip to me. The yo­ghurt is the only non-ve­gan aspect of this dish – Raglan co­conut yo­ghurt is ex­cel­lent if you’re after a non-dairy al­ter­na­tive, keep an eye out for it.


Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 30-40 mins Serves: 4-6 as a side

500g yams, washed and halved

½ tsp sumac, plus a lit­tle ex­tra for gar­nish 1 tsp cu­min seeds

2 tbsp pome­gran­ate mo­lasses

Olive oil

Flaky sea salt and black pep­per


½ cup thick yo­ghurt Zest and juice of 1 le­mon ½ tsp ground cu­min

½ tsp sumac


2 large hand­fuls of baby spinach Small hand­ful of mint leaves, roughly torn

Pre­heat the oven to 180C.

In an oiled roast­ing dish, com­bine the sliced yams with the sumac, cu­min seeds, pome­gran­ate mo­lasses, 2-3 ta­ble­spoons of olive oil and a gen­er­ous sea­son­ing of salt and pep­per. Pop into the oven to roast for at least 35 min­utes, un­til the yams are lovely and caramelised and ten­der – al­most to the point of be­ing soft. Re­move and al­low to cool for 5 min­utes. In the mean­time, com­bine all spiced yo­ghurt in­gre­di­ents to­gether with enough salt and pep­per to taste. Dress the spinach with a lit­tle olive oil and black pep­per, and ar­range on a plat­ter with the yams over the top, then dot over the spiced yo­ghurt, fol­lowed by the mint leaves and a lit­tle ex­tra sumac.

Serve im­me­di­ately.

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