Taro Root & Asparagus Salad

July 18, 2018lectinfreemama
Blog post

I recently did a post on the difference between yams and other yam-like root vegetables. (Read it HERE.) A taro root is a tuber that often gets confused or labeled as a yam. But really it’s the yam’s exotic, tropical cousin with papery brown skin and a slimy purple interior. They love the water (they grow in flood conditions) and their sliminess cooks up into a starchy, potato-like food that soaks up liquid like a sponge.

In a nutshell, it’s a tropical potato requiring extra oil and/or butter (darn.)

Learn how to prepare taro root with this hearty taro root and asparagus salad--lectin-free, nightshade-free, and Plant Paradox approved!

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Where to Find Taro Root

The question is not so much where to find taro root, but what the label will actually say when you find it. If it’s in stock at your grocery store, it will probably be next to the mangoes, plantains, star fruit, and other tropical delights. I bought them three different times and, each time, thought I was buying something new (I blame lingering brain fog). Only to get home, cut it open, and discover the same slimy purple interior.

Now that I’m root vegetable-savvy, I realize my grocery store labels it according to the country of origin. A taro root by any other name is just as starchy:

  • malanga
  • gabi
  • tales
  • ndalo
  • talo
  • colcas
  • kalo
  • amteke
  • tropical yam (all-encompassing, vague)

 

How to Cook It

You can rub the hairy exterior off and then peel or simply use a sturdy peeler. We’re not going to eat the bark. Taro roots are high in oxalic acid (oxalate), which can be problematic for some people. This can be remedied by cubing the root and soaking it in cold water overnight before cooking (change out the water).

Learn how to prepare taro root with this hearty taro root and asparagus salad--lectin-free, nightshade-free, and Plant Paradox approved!

Stovetop

Cut each root into 8 small cubes and place in a large pot. Completely cover with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender.

Pressure Cook

This is my favorite method because I like to add garlic to anything potato-like, and the garlic flavor really infuses under pressure. Quarter each root and place in a pressure cooker pot with a few garlic cloves, cover with water, and pressure cook on High for 10 minutes. Vent the steam and drain.

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Taro Root & Asparagus Salad

Taro root–high in oxalic acid–can contribute to the formation of kidney stones in those who are sensitive. Asparagus, which stimulates the kidneys to release fluid, helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.

IS THIS A CLEVER PAIRING OR WHAT.

In addition to achieving kidney Zen, it’s actually really delicious, too, which is the most important aspect for me, kidneys be damned (not really, I love my kidneys). This would make a delicious side dish for a holiday feast, or more than enough for a hearty main dish any night of the week.

Learn how to prepare taro root with this hearty taro root and asparagus salad--lectin-free, nightshade-free, and Plant Paradox approved!

PREP TIME 15 MINUTES     TOTAL TIME 45 MINUTES     SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds taro root, peeled and large cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 3 slices prosciutto di Parma
  • 1/2 bunch fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

PLACE taro root and garlic in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker and completely cover with water. Pressure cook on High for 10 minutes. Vent the steam, drain, and transfer cubes to a large bowl to cool. Chop the garlic and potatoes into smaller pieces and toss with ¼ cup each vinegar and olive oil. Toss to coat and season with salt to taste.

MEANWHILE, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and salt. Cook, tossing, until crisp tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and cut stalks in quarters. Add prosciutto to the skillet and turn heat to medium-low. Cook until crispy and crumble.

TOSS asparagus, prosciutto, oregano, and scallions with the taro root and garlic in the large bowl. Add the remaining oil and vinegar and toss to coat. Salt to taste and, ideally, allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Printable Recipe

Taro Root & Asparagus Salad

Learn to prepare and use taro root in this hearty nightshade-free root and asparagus salad.

Course Holiday, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine fall, phase 2, spring, summer
Keyword asparagus, taro root
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author lectinfreemama

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds taro root peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed
  • 3 slices prosciutto di Parma
  • 1/2 bunch oregano leaves finely chopped
  • 3 scallions cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. PLACE taro root and garlic in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker and completely cover with water. Pressure cook on High for 10 minutes. Vent the steam, drain, and transfer cubes to a large bowl to cool. Chop the garlic and potatoes into smaller pieces and toss with ¼ cup each vinegar and olive oil. Toss to coat and season with salt to taste.
  2. MEANWHILE, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and salt. Cook, tossing, until crisp tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and cut stalks in quarters. Add prosciutto to the skillet and turn heat to medium-low. Cook until crispy and crumble.
  3. TOSS asparagus, prosciutto, oregano, and scallions with the taro root and garlic in the large bowl. Add the remaining oil and vinegar and toss to coat. Salt to taste and, ideally, allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes

To cook over the stovetop, cut each root into 8 small cubes and place with garlic cloves in a large pot. Completely cover with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender.

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