• Garlic Cassava (Baked) Fries With Cilantro Lime Mayo






    Photography: Ana Degenaar

    It's a universally acknowledged truth that there’s no such thing as eating "just one chip"—that commercial was sadly right when it comes to not getting enough. These days everyone is turning everything into a chip: they vary from kale and parsnips to the unfortunate avocado chip.

    In my humble opinion, lukewarm, battered avocado slices shouldn’t qualify as a "fry" or a "chip"... but you know what should?... The mighty cassava fries—they (and I don’t say this lightly) beat the classic white potato which brings close to zero nutrients and fiber to our bodies.

    Cassava (also known as yuca or manioc) is one of my favorite paleo/gluten-free sources of starch. This root veg is well known around Asia, Africa and South America. In fact, here in Brazil, cassava is the #1 choice for starch—otherwise known as tapioca.

    I use cassava as a substitute for potatoes—and to the initial resistance of my little EP, it’s been going into our stews, soups and the occasional baked fries that we all deserve once in a while. Cassava is a little sweeter than regular potatoes and it also takes a little longer to cook but when done right, it can surprise even the staunchest potato lover.

    To be honest, I can kind of understand why this gluten-free goodness is not more often picked up at the supermarkets around the world. It isn’t the prettiest veg you’ve ever seen. It looks exactly like what it is: a root. Brown, waxy and tuber-like, so no—it won’t win the "sexiest vegetable competition" but what it doesn’t have in looks it makes up for in flavor, texture and versatility.

    For the purposes of further persuading you into giving this a try, I’ve dusted off my camera and created a recipe that’s easy and delicious.

    Here are my (I-need-a-vacation) Garlic Baked Cassava Fries With Cilantro-Lime Mayo.

    Ingredients

    For The Fries
    2 Medium cassavas
    4 smashed (skin on) garlic cloves
    2 tbsp of avocado, coconut or canola oil
    1 tsp of sea salt

    For The mayo
    1/2 cup of cilantro/coriander leaves
    2 tbsp fresh lime juice
    1 roasted garlic clove
    (from the baking pan)
    1 cup of mayonnaise
    (better if homemade)

    Instructions

    1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 250 celsius.
    2. In a large pot of water put 2 tablespoons of salt and set it aside.
    3. Using a large peeler, peel the cassava, taking off the brown and the pink part of it and leaving just the white flesh.
    4. Cut your cassava into batons. The thicker they are the fluffier they turn out on the inside.
    5. Add the fries to the boiling water and cook for 10-20 minutes, or until tender.
    6. Drain the fries and pat them dry.
    7. In a baking tray, place your oil, salt and smashed garlic cloves and massage to cover all of the fries with the mixture.
    8. Pop into your oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
    9. While the fries are cooking, make the cilantro lime mayonnaise. Add all the ingredients, except the garlic clove (which you will take from the tray) and pulse in your mixer until combined. Once the fries are done, pick out a clove, peel it and throw it into your mixer and pulse until ready.
    10. Serve your fries with the mayo and sprinkle with a little more cilantro.

    Recipe Notes
    If you encounter any issues peeling your cassava, go to Flor for help.

    The cassava should be white on the inside with no dark spots. If it has spots you will need to discard it as it might not be the freshest.

    Contrary to what a few people believe, no, cassava is not toxic.

    Let me know what you if you want more recipes, you can leave suggestions below. Happy weekend!

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