“Eating with Cassava”
Cassava bread is a clean product (meaning there are no other ingredients added) and when eaten it can have a plain, bland taste, but that can be changed by just adding some flavor. I suggest always toasting in the oven first (lightly, just to get the crispy texture) and then spreading butter (on one or both sides), fruit jelly, peanut butter, avocado, hummus, caviar, pesto sauce or any of your favorite spreads. Use it as tostada to mount any type of food you like (shredded pork, shredded beef, etc.), or as snack-chip, for breakfast (instead of bread), or to accompany any soup, salad or meal.
Cassava with Olive Oil (most common way to eat it)
Toast at 375 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes. After toasting in the oven add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. If you are going to toast several pieces of cassava I recommend using a brush to spread the olive oil.
Cassava with Garlic
Ingredients: 1 piece of cassava bread, ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 large cloves of chopped garlic, 1 heaping tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley, salt to taste, and ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional). Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix olive oil, garlic, salt and parsley in a small bowl. Brush the cassava bread evenly with the mixture. On a baking sheet place the bread and bake it for eight to nine minutes or until it’s slightly brown. Check frequently so they will not burn. Remove from oven and top it with parmesan cheese, if you like.
Ingredients: One piece of cassava bread, ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil and salt to taste. Directions: Brush both sides of the cassava with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees F for eight to nine minutes. Let cool. Cut by hand the cassava in small pieces. Store croutons in a covered container or plastic bag. Use it in the moment to serve on top of soups or salads.
Cassava with Poached Eggs. Breakfast
Ingredients: 1 piece of toasted cassava bread, 1 teaspoon of soft butter, parmesan cheese shavings, 1 poached egg, 1 piece of avocado, salt, pepper and olive oil. Directions: On a hot toasted sheet of cassava bread spread some butter. Top with shaved parmesan cheese and a well-drained poached egg. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper. Serve on the side 1 cup of cubed pineapple and a piece of chopped avocado seasoned with salt, pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Cassava with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese. Appetizer
1 toasted piece of cassava bread broken in five pieces, 5 tablespoons whipped cream cheese, 4 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon, 1 tablespoon capers, lemon slices. Directions: Spread the cream cheese on the toasted pieces of bread and top with pieces of salmon. Garnish with capers and lemon slices.
Cassava Margherita. Pizza
Ingredients: 1 piece of cassava bread, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 5 large basil leaves, cut into strips, 1 medium tomato (pat & dry) chopped or sliced, 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix olive oil with the garlic, salt and pepper and then brush the cassava piece with this mixture. Spread evenly the mozzarella cheese, basil and chopped tomatoes. Place it the oven for nine minutes.
Cassava Caprese. Appetizer
Ingredients: 1 piece of cassava bread, 1/3 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese cut into slices, 1 large tomato cut into slices, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Directions: Take the piece of already toasted cassava bread and cut it in four or five pieces. Brush them with olive oil. Arrange on each piece of cassava one slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and one slice of tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil. Top with basil. Note: fresh mozzarella cheese is packed in water and it has a softer and more delicate flavor than the regular mozzarella cheese, commonly used for melting purposes.
Ingredients: 1 piece of toasted cassava bread. 1 medium chopped tomato, ½ bunch fresh cilantro (chopped), 1 clove of minced garlic (optional), 1 cup black beans, 1 small avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Directions: Mix tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Take the one piece of cassava, spread some olive oil with a brush and cut it in three pieces. First add the black beans (without juice), the tomato mix (without juice) and one or two slices of avocado and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Black Beans recipe: 1 bag of dry black beans, 1 medium chopped yellow onion, 6 good sized cloves of mashed garlic, ½ green chopped pepper, 2 bay leaves, 1/3 bunch of washed cilantro (tie bundle with string), 2 fresh spring oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 Roma tomatoes (cut them in half and remove all seeds), 1 cup free range chicken broth, 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, 1 ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper to taste, 4 tbsp. olive oil. Directions: Soak the beans overnight in cold water. This will reduce the cooking time. Next morning remove the beans from the soaking water. Place beans into a large pot with 10 cups of water, add oregano and bay leaves, salt, pepper and bring them to boil. While the beans are cooking, sauté in olive oil onions, peppers and garlic until soft. Add the onion mixture, the chicken broth, the cilantro and the vinegar to the pot of beans. Let the beans cook on low heat for at least ½ hour. Done when beans are soft and thick.
As they say in Dominican Republic
“A FALTA DE PAN, CASABE”