Cassava Pesto Recipe
INSPIRED BY MOZAMBIQUE
Cassava, or sometimes known as yuca, is a starchy root used to make common food items like flour and tapioca. It was introduced to Africa by Portuguese traders from Brazil during the 16th century. In Mozambique, cassava is one of the most important starches.
Cassava is not only an important source of energy in Mozambique. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people rely on cassava as their primary food staple.
SAVE FOR LATER
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1/3 cup shelled cashews
1/2 cup peeled and cubed yucca root
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or 1 teaspoon cumin powder)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the desired consistency forms.
If using a mortar and pestle, crush the cashews until a fine crumb forms. Add the yucca, bell peppers, and cumin, and mash until smooth. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Mash until the desired consistency forms.
Store pesto in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use throughout the week in the next two recipes. Pesto can last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
Cassava is used to make tapioca, which is processed into many forms, including flakes and pearls. Tapioca pearls are often used to help bind the filling in pies and cobblers. In addition to cassava’s important role in Mozambique, cornmeal is another starch popular in Mozambican cooking.
Claiming over 1,500 miles of the African coastline, Mozambique’s cuisine offers plenty of seafood. One common recipe is a seafood stew made with clams in a peanut sauce. Another popular dish is shrimp prepared in the style of peri-peri—a Portuguese word—highlighting the influence of Portugal.