By Chris De La Rosa
PRIDE Cuisine Columnist
Cassava, yucca, manioc, mandioca or whatever name you may know this ‘ground provision’ by, is one of those of those ingredients I just adore using/eating. It takes me back to a carefree time and place on the islands, I cherish more the older I get.
Let’s get started.
1 package frozen cassava (about 2 lbs)
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion (diced)
2-3 cloves garlic (diced)
2 scallions (chopped)
2 bird’s eye pepper (optional)
2 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
2-4 sprigs thyme
8-10 grape tomato (any tomato will work)
1/2 teaspoon salt (for boiling the cassava)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Important. To avoid the emails/comments… yes the dish is 100% vegan but in the image above I did enjoy it with curry fish my mom sent for me.
I used frozen cassava in this dish as it’s the most convenient way to source it in Canada. Plus the cooking time is fast, cooks nice and soft, every-time, and no work peeling the tough skin off fresh cassava. Boil according to the package instructions. Basically put the frozen (but raw) pieces of cassava in a pot with salted boiling water and cook till tender.
The package I used said to cook it on a rolling boil for 30 minutes, but in reality it took about 20 minutes. Take a paring knife and go through a thick part of the boiling cassava.. if there’s no resistance, it’s fully cooked. Drain and set aside to cool. (yes, we use the salt mentioned in the list above for boiling the cassava)
As the cassava cooks, heat the olive oil in a wide pan over low heat. Then go in with the garlic and onion and cook for a couple minutes on low. After which you can add all the other ingredients (except the cassava), stir and cook for 3-5 minutes on low.
After the cassava is cool to handle, you’ve got to do two things (watch the video below for help). First you’ll see a sort of tough string running down the middle of the cassava, you’ve got to remove that and discard it. It’s vine-like and tough. Then cut the cassava into bit sized pieces.
Now add the pieces of cassava to the pot and stir well.
Cook on low until everything is heated through and mixed well – about 4-5 minutes. Please taste for salt and adjust as we only salted the cassava while it cooked. I didn’t add any further salt. You may cook this on higher heat after adding the cassava and for a bit longer to form a slight crust (very tasty).
Yea this is a simple one pot dish, which can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to any meat or fish dish.
This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, plus over 1 million social/fan connections globally every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource of Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.