Healthy Beginnings

Grilled Yucca Tortillas

By Liz Penny
This is an outstanding recipe from a great vegan cookbook that I tested at home on my roommates. Easy, unusual, and unusually yummy, it was a great hit. Two weeks later I made it for lunch for 15 non-vegans at a professional Feldenkrais training in Berkeley, CA. I adapted it with a bit of dairy and the resulting golden, warm, garlicky tortillas were a smash hit. I was drafted as the visiting chef for the rest of our training session!
[NOTE: You can find yucca root (aka manioc or cassava) in many specialty grocery stores and Asian or Latino markets. If you’ve never cooked with it, you’re in for a comforting and truly delicious treat!]
Filling
1 lb yucca, peeled & cut into 2” cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small sweet potato or yam
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 can rinsed and drained black beans
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
4-6 flour tortillas
Lime Crema
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
Make the lime crema:
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, blend until creamy. Pour into a bowl and place in
the refrigerator until tortillas are ready.
Make the filling:
Bake the sweet potato at 450 degrees for 45 minutes, or microwave it for 4-7 minutes, until soft. Break it open and scrape flesh into a small bowl. Set aside.
Boil 3 quarts water in a large pot. Add yucca and cook for 20-25 minutes, until it is tender and flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool. When the yucca is cool enough to touch, remove thick skin from the outside of the root, and/or fibrous core from the center. Gently mash with your fingers. Add sweet potato to it and set aside.
Place oil and garlic in a cold cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2 mins, or until fragrant. Add onions and cook until just translucent. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6-8 mins. Remove from heat, cool briefly, then pour over mashed yucca and yam. Stir in lime juice, salt, and white pepper, mashing the mixture until everything is combined (try using your hands!). Stir in the black beans.
To assemble:
Heat a griddle or thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Brush a tortilla lightly with olive oil and spread with a generous 1/2 cup of filling, covering half the tortilla all the way to the edges. Fold in half, gently pressing the tortilla together, and brush each side with a little olive oil. Place in the heated skillet and grill, flipping once, pressing down on the tortilla with a spatula until the outsides are nicely toasted and filling is piping hot. Remove from heat, cut in half, and serve with salsa, guacamole, and lime crema.
• Adapted by Liz Penny from the outstanding vegan cookbook, Veganomicon, by I. Moskowitz and T. Romero.

grilled-yucca-tortillas-300This is an outstanding recipe from a great vegan cookbook that I tested at home on my roommates. Easy, unusual, and unusually yummy, it was a great hit. Two weeks later I made it for lunch for 15 non-vegans at a professional Feldenkrais training in Berkeley, CA. I adapted it with a bit of dairy and the resulting golden, warm, garlicky tortillas were a smash hit. I was drafted as the visiting chef for the rest of our training session!

[NOTE: You can find yucca root (aka manioc or cassava) in many specialty grocery stores and Asian or Latino markets. If you’ve never cooked with it, you’re in for a comforting and truly delicious treat!]

Filling

1 lb yucca, peeled & cut into 2” cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 small sweet potato or yam

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 can rinsed and drained black beans

1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons lime juice

½ teaspoon salt

4-6 flour tortillas

Lime Crema

1 cup plain yogurt

¼ cup olive oil

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Make the lime crema:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, blend until creamy. Pour into a bowl and place inthe refrigerator until tortillas are ready.

Make the filling:

Bake the sweet potato at 450 degrees for 45 minutes, or microwave it for 4-7 minutes, until soft. Break it open and scrape flesh into a small bowl. Set aside.

Boil 3 quarts water in a large pot. Add yucca and cook for 20-25 minutes, until it is tender and flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool. When the yucca is cool enough to touch, remove thick skin from the outside of the root, and/or fibrous core from the center. Gently mash with your fingers. Add sweet potato to it and set aside.

Place oil and garlic in a cold cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2 mins, or until fragrant. Add onions and cook until just translucent. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6-8 mins. Remove from heat, cool briefly, then pour over mashed yucca and yam. Stir in lime juice, salt, and white pepper, mashing the mixture until everything is combined (try using your hands!). Stir in the black beans.

To assemble:

Heat a griddle or thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Brush a tortilla lightly with olive oil and spread with a generous 1/2 cup of filling, covering half the tortilla all the way to the edges. Fold in half, gently pressing the tortilla together, and brush each side with a little olive oil. Place in the heated skillet and grill, flipping once, pressing down on the tortilla with a spatula until the outsides are nicely toasted and filling is piping hot. Remove from heat, cut in half, and serve with salsa, guacamole, and lime crema.

Adapted by Liz Penny from the outstanding vegan cookbook, Veganomicon, by I. Moskowitz and T. Romero.