Yacon Waldorf Salad

Yacon Waldorf Salad on Radicchio leavesMy friend Joyce and I have been sharing birthday dinners for nearly twenty years. This year, it was my turn to prepare dinner for six, so I seized upon this as an opportunity to prepare not one but two yacon based dishes for for our meal. This salad really shines with the yacon and apple combination.

Waldorf salad was first served at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York in 1896. It was a very simple combination of mayonnaise, apples and celery and became instantly popular. This recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Bon Appetit Magazine. Yacon is a delightful combination with the traditional apples. Served in a nest of radicchio or bibb lettuce it makes an attractive first course.
Serves 6-8
1 # yacon, peeled and diced
3 crisp juicy apples, diced and not peeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup lowfat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream (non-fat a good choice)
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 cup diced celery
1 ½ cups chopped radishes (about 18)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup lightly toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
one head radicchio or bibb lettuce

Combine yacon and apples with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Stir in mayonnaise, sour cream and blue cheese. Add celery, chopped radishes and cranberries. Radishes are quickly chopped in the food processor. If serving immediately add nuts and parsley. If not set aside in refrigerator and add just before serving. Serve in a dish or spoon into two nested lettuce or radicchio leaves.

Advertisements

Yacon Pineapple Slaw

yaconepinapple25.jpg

This recipe we’ve made since first growing yacon and we keep returning to it. An easy fresh and unusual winter salad it’s a novel addition to the Thanksgiving table.

1 medium fresh pineapple
1 pound fresh yacon, 1-2 tubers
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup sweet red pepper, rings or diced

Peel and slice the pineapple into eight sections making longitudinal cuts. Remove the core and slice the pineapple pieces into ½” thick wedges. To peel yacon, a standard potato peeler does a good job and doesn’t cut too deeply into the tuber. You can trim with a knife. Rinse when peeled. Yacon peel is bitter so peeling is always recommended. A food processor with a medium shredding disk produces larger shreds if you press down firmly on the feed tube. Immediately add lime juice to shredded yacon to prevent discoloration and then combine with pineapple and peppers. The tiny pepper rings in this photo are from Nichols new Baby Belle Sweet Pepper. A few shredded leaves of fresh spearmint is a good variation. If you choose to use canned pineapple chunks select two 16 oz. cans that are lightly sweetened with juice drained.
Note: a Mandoline produces a perfect julienne but watch your fingers, the blades are sharp and no one wants to see blood in the salad. I usually peel the yacon, cut into large chunks, and press firmly down as it goes through shredder on my food processor.