In this satisfying main course, garnet yams are baked twice and stuffed with spinach, provolone cheese and spiced pecans. Be sure to look for garnet yams, which have mahogany skin and bright orange flesh. They are not interchangeable with pale-skinned sweet potatoes, which tend to have much drier flesh and are less sweet.
Garnet Yams Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese
- 4 large garnet yams, each about 3/4 lb. (375 g)
- 2 Tbs. white miso
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) grated provolone or cheddar cheese
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups (6 oz./185 g) packed baby spinach
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) coarsely chopped pecans
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Prick the yams all over with a fork, then bake them until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Alternatively, after pricking them, place the yams on a paper towel and microwave them on high, turning once or twice, until they yield easily when squeezed, 10 to 15 minutes.)
3. Cut a long slit down the length of the yams. Using a sturdy spoon, scoop out the centers, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) shell. Transfer the scooped-out flesh to a large bowl. Add the miso and cheese to the bowl, and, using a potato masher, mash until mostly smooth.
4. In a sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the mashed yams and stir to combine; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the yam skins.
5. In a small bowl, combine the pecans, butter, brown sugar, rosemary, cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle the nut mixture on top of the yams. Transfer the yams to a baking sheet and bake until the tops are golden brown, 25 minutes. Let the stuffed yams cool for a few minutes and serve. Serves 4.
Find more simple, healthy meals for every night of the week in our book Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning.