Refresh Your Root-ine: West African Root Vegetables and Greens Curry

Posted by Boston Organics on Feb 14, 2023 2:45:49 PM

For this trip around with world with winter root vegetables we're headed to West Africa where yams, plantains, tomatoes, greens, garlic, ginger and chiles all figure prominently. In this recipe we've adapted asaro, a starchy root vegetable stew in a flavorful tomato- and chile-based sauce to our New England offerings. Traditionally, the dish is made with the yams, but carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, rutabagas, turnips are all good and readily available stand-ins. Firm, green plantains are a welcome addition but certainly not essential as the sauce rich with caramelized shallots, garlic and ginger is the perfect backdrop to whatever is in your crisper drawer. There is a slight but welcome heat from a single pepper dropped in whole to infuse the stew. Coconut milk supplies the richness and hearty greens help cut the richness while adding a contrasting, colorful punch. Serve topped with crunchy shallots, fresh herbs and a wedge of lime.

Recipe #4: West African Root VegetableS and Greens Curry


1/2 cup neutral oil
1 cup sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger, (2-3 inch piece)
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 fresh hot pepper, pierced a couple of times with a fork or knife
14 oz can tomatoes with their juice
2 lbs peeled root vegetables - potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, carrots, parsnips, etc, cut into 1 1/2" pieces, plantains if you're in the mood
1/4 cup basil
1/4 cup cilantro
1 lime
1 can coconut milk
4 cups julienned hearty greens, like kale or collard greens, tough stems removed


1. In a large pot saute the sliced shallots in the oil until caramelized and golden brown. Remove from pot, drain on paper towel and seaon with salt.

2. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of oil from pot and heat over mdium low (reserve oil for another use). Add garlic, ginger and turmeric and saute until fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook until it begins to brown and stick to the bottom of the pot.

3. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the whole pepper. Stir to combine then add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.

4. Season with salt and add root vegetables. Cook until just tender and still holding their shape.

5. Stir in coconut milk, heat through and adjust for salt. Add the green and cook until tender. Remove hot pepper.

6. Serve in bowls sprinkled with cilantro, basil, caramelized onions and a squeeze of lime. Hot sauce on the side.





Topics: winter root vegetable, winter vegetables, round the world, winter greens, Tagine

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