Almond-Topped Yam Gratin

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    as a side dish
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Yam that has been boiled, then baked is very different from plain boiled—it has pouf and crunch. The texture, made creamy by mozzarella and lightened with soy milk (to heighten the tuber’s nuttiness rather than impart a more dairy taste) is like souffléd baked potatoes. Tomato paste adds a peach tone and sweet edge but is not strictly necessary. Serve with bitter greens, with (or without) pork roast.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds white yam of any type
  • 2 large shallots, thin-sliced
  • ½ pound smoked mozzarella, coarse-grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¾ to 1 cup soy milk (whole, not light)
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • cup sliced blanched almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt

    Method

    1. Set a pot of water to boil. Peel yam. Cut into 2-inch chunks, dropping them into the pot as you go. Bring to full boil. Add a handful of salt. Reduce heat and boil gently until tender but not falling apart, 20 to 35 minutes (but timing varies). During last 5 minutes, add shallots. Set oven to 400°F.
    2. Drain yam and shallots. Press through medium disc of food mill into a bowl. Stir in grated cheese. In another bowl, whisk egg and tomato paste, then blend in ¾ cup soy milk and pepper. Stir mixture into pureed yam. The texture should resemble soft mashed potatoes. If too stiff, add more soy milk. Season.
    3. Spread mixture in shallow buttered baking dish of about -quart capacity. Sprinkle almonds evenly over top, then coarse salt.
    4. Bake in middle of oven until center is lightly puffed and firm and nuts are golden, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.