Hasselback means cutting lots of slices part way through a vegetable before roasting it. The cuts make the vegetable roast faster and leave lots of lovely gaps to fill with flavour. Yams are often confused with sweet potatoes. Mature yams are the one with orange flesh and dark brown skin whilst sweet potatoes have creamy coloured flesh. This recipe transforms this rather gnarly-looking veggie into something spectacular.
The sweetness of yams goes beautifully with the fresh pop of cranberries so I got busy loading up yams with festive flavours. Sometimes Paul and I share a hasselback yam for lunch (they’re pretty big tubers so half each is still a lot) or I serve it as a Christmas side dish with baked, sticky ham.
Serves 2 Adults as a Lunch or a family of 4 as a side dish
1 large yam
4 slices prosciutto or unsmoked streaky bacon (you can leave this out for a veggie version)
half a pomegranate
4 or 5 chestnuts
handful of pistachios (salted or unsalted)
1/2 cup of greek yoghurt
1 red chilli
1 spring onion
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c (180°c Fan) with a shelf set just above halfway. Using a short, sharp knife make narrow slits all the way along the yam. The slits should go 3/4 of the way through the veggie.
- Put the yam in an ovenproof dish then drizzle over a little olive oil and rub it all over. Grind over a little salt and pop it in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. The yam is ready when you can slide a knife into the uncut bottom part of the flesh.
- Whilst the yam is baking you can prepare your fillings. Chop the prosciutto or bacon and fry in a little oil until the meat is crispy. Drain and set aside.
- Use a wooden spoon to bash the seeds out of the pomegranate into a bowl.
- Finely chop the spring onion and chilli and stir into the yoghurt along with the juice of the lemon. Finely chop the chestnuts, pistachios and sage leaves.
- When the yam is cooked use a spoon to fill the crevices with the yoghurt mixture then sprinkle over the chestnuts, pistachio, prosciutto and pomegranate seeds then sprinkle with the sage leaves and a few extra slices of spring onion.