The humble yam. There isn’t much to say about a yam. It is one of those vegetables that serves it’s utilitarian nutritional purpose but doesn’t exactly cry out for applause. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of yams that compels so many people to mash and whip them within an inch of their lives , adorn them with marshmallows, or turn them into golden souffles. The other option seems to be to boil or steam them and serve them plain. Personally, I’m not a great fan of the yam, so no way is the “right” or “wrong” way to prepare them for me. I do, however, live with some committed yam fiends who like them just about anyway that they can get them. So which way do yams manifest on our plates? More often than not, especially when prepared alongside turkey or chicken, I roast them with maple syrup and ginger. Not wholly unique or original, but as a potential yam convert I appreciate the balance of sweet and spicy, and in general, almost anything is good or better with maple syrup.
It all starts with fresh yams, peeled and chopped.
Then fresh ginger makes its entrance, grated. If you’re clever, do as I say and not as I do and grate the ginger right over the dish you will roast the yams in to collect all the gingery juice that you’ll get from grating it.
Toss the cubed yams in the rest of the ingredients and pop them in the oven. Less than an hour later you’ll be enjoying spicy-sweet, earthy roasted yams …and not a marshmallow in sight!
Roasted Yams with Maple and Ginger
preheat the oven to 375
3 medium yams, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Toss yam cubes in maple syrup and oil, sprinkle spices in, mix well to coat.
Roast at 375 for 30-40 mins or until the yams are tender and have begun to caramelize.