Roasted Yams with Cilantro-Chile Dressing

January 7, 2010 § 2 Comments

Guess what came in the mail two days ago?  I’ll give you a hint: since ripping off the cellophane packaging and cozying up on the sofa under a gigantic, striped blanket, I’ve drunk countless mugs of tea, nibbled through platefuls of dark chocolate and I’ve begun collecting recipes at an alarming, dare I say, heart-stopping rate.  If you’re still perplexed as to what I yanked out of my mailbox two days ago, I’ll give you one final clue: someone beam me to France, s’il vous plaît!

I am now the proud owner of Julie and Julia! (I can hear my cousin groaning.)  I’ve already seen the movie four times and once I hit “publish” on this post, I’ll continue to digest my dinner (photo above; recipe below) with another chocolate palate-cleanser while I watch it for a fifth time — the second time today!  This particular recipe wasn’t inspired by Julie and Julia (by this movie, instead).  But Julia has left her mark with a new-found delight in braised cucumbers (genius!) and a rekindled love of butter.  Case in point: yesterday I made buttermilk cornbread with a half-stick of butter and hovered over the stove burner, eyes closed for about a minute-and-a-half, just smelling the butter as it bubbled in my heftiest cast iron.

And so, thanks to Julia, my paycheck, three towering stacks of cookbooks (plus four bookshelves!) and more free time, I’m back in the kitchen with new cooking loot (zester! bowls! spices!) and lots of inspiration.  This afternoon, after a quick pit-stop to Native Seeds/SEARCH where I scoured the store aiming to buy several handfuls of my favorite garlic from Forever Young Farm, I waltzed into the kitchen at half-past three, clicked on the oven and started chopping.  This is a no-fuss recipe with a variety of textures, flavors and colors.   The lime, chile and cilantro make it positively lip-smacking!

2 medium-sized yams (or sweet potatoes)
2 cups black beans, pre-cooked
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
1 Anaheim chile, roasted
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
sea salt, pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut yams into bite-sized pieces.  Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.  Bake until tender and crispy around the edges, about 20-25 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, blend cilantro, lime juice, chile and 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a Cuisinart or blender.  Set aside.

3.  Chop remaining vegetables.  Combine with cooked beans.  Stir in cilantro-chile sauce.

4.  When yams are soft, toss gently with bean salad.  Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Diet Notes: Gluten-free, nut-free, vegan


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