Gjelina’s Roasted Yams
These roasted yams are adapted from a recipe that Travis Lett, the chef and an owner of Gjelina in Venice, Calif., published in a 2015 cookbook devoted to the restaurant’s food. They are a marvelous accompaniment to a roast chicken, but they are maybe even better as a platter to accompany a salad of hearty greens, cheese and nuts. What makes them memorable is a technique Lett calls for during the cooking: tossing the tubers in honey before roasting them, which intensifies their caramelizing. The crisp, near-burned sweetness works beautifully against the heat of the pepper and the acidic creaminess of the yogurt you dab onto the dish at the end. It is a simple dish, but it results in fantastic eating.
- Serves: 3 persons
- 3large yams
- 2tablespoons honey
- 1tablespoon Espelette pepper, or crushed red-pepper flakes
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½cup Greek-style yogurt
- 4tablespoons fresh lime juice, approximately 2 limes
- 2scallions, both green and white parts, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish
Step 1Heat oven to 425. Cut the yams lengthwise into 4 wedges per yam. Put them in a large bowl, and toss them with the honey, ½ tablespoon of the Espelette pepper or crushed red-pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, tossing once or twice to coat, as the oven heats.
Step 2Transfer the yams to a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and then bake until they are deeply caramelized around the edges and soft when pierced with a fork at their thickest part, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.
Step 3As the yams roast, combine the yogurt, lime juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl, and whisk to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Step 4When the yams are done, transfer them to a serving platter, drizzle the yogurt over them and garnish with the remaining Espelette pepper or red-pepper flakes, the scallions and some flaky sea salt if you have any.