Wednesday, January 6, 2016

roasted yams with honey, aleppo, and lime yogurt.

I received the Gjelina Cookbook for Christmas (thanks Aunt Carol and Uncle Dennis!) and have been blown away by how good it is.  The book itself is gorgeous but the real kicker is how accessible everything is.   These aren't labor intensive weekend long projects.  These are realistic meals and side dishes - things you can make even if you only have 35 minutes to throw dinner together.   

The chapter that has me most captivated is the vegetable chapter.  Gjelina (like a lot of restaurants now a days) treats vegetables like the main attraction and it's fun and exciting to learn new ways to make vegetables shine. Yogurt shows up a lot and deservedly so; it can add a richness to a dish that people love.  Spices are used with abandon and roasting seems to be the cooking method of choice.   The whole thing feels very here and now.  It's how I want to eat come 2016.  

I've made a handful of dishes thus far but my favorite may be this roasted yams dish.  In January when you are trying to wean yourself off holiday cookies and cake, this dish is a welcome distraction. It has depth and an absurd amount amount of flavor and the lime yogurt just brings the whole thing together.  Serving it with some crusty bread and leftover roast chicken makes for a most excellent meal.   

Roasted Yams with Honey, Aleppo, and Lime Yogurt
Recipe from Gjelina Cookbook

1/2 cup Greek Style Yogurt
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 medium to large yams/sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons honey (I used Mike's Hot Honey because I love the extra heat)
1 tablespoon Espellete, Aleppo, or crushed red pepper flakes
Flaky sea salt
2 green onions (white and green parts cut on the bias) or 2 tablespoons chives minced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl combine the yogurt with the lime juice, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.   Set aside.

Cut the yams lengthwise into 8 - 10 wedges (about 3/4 of an inch).   In a medium bowl toss the yams with the honey, 1/2 teaspoon of the Espellete/Aleppo/Crushed red pepper flakes, and the remaining olive oil.  Season with sea salt and pepper.   Marinate for 10 minutes tossing once or twice to coat.  

Transfer the yams to a rimmed baking dish and roast until they are nicely caramelized around the edges and soft when pierced with a fork at the thickest part, 25 - 35 minutes.   

Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with yogurt all over, and garnish with green onions or chives and the remaining Espellete/Aleppo/Crushed red pepper flakes.   Season with flaky sea salt.  Serve warm.   

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