Yampah is the West's own wild carrot, and a prized native food (Queen Anne Lace is from Europe). The roots, leaves and seeds of Yampah are all edible. The tuberous roots can be eaten raw and have a crisp, juicy texture, reminiscent of a water chestnut. When boiled, steamed, sauteed, or fried, the roots have a sweet & nutty flavor, reminiscent of a sweet potato. They are a good source of Potassium and Vitamin C and are high in protein.
The little tasty roots are easy to prepare. Once harvested you just snap off the roots and cook them however you like! I decided to steam them to maintain their nutritional value as much as possible, while using ingredients that I almost always have around, and most people have access to.
The result was a quick and very flavorful experience. The Yampah just soaked up the herb infused oil, creating a savory side dish. The mild sweet flavor of the root themselves complimented the taste perfectly. The bite size roots plus the tenderness of steaming them created a wonderful texture that I found quite enjoyable. I served it with wild rice and a nice salad, which seem to pair very well.
- About 30 Yampah roots makes 1 serving
- Olive oil, butter or ghee
- Fresh rosemary
- Chopped garlic to your preferred size
- Separate the Yampah bulbs from the roots. They should snap off easily.
- Rinse the Yampah well.
- Use a steamer, and steam for 5-10 minutes like you would other roots like carrots or potatoes. You want them tender, but not mushy. This helps the texture and holds onto as much nutritional value as possible.
- While your roots are steaming, you can chop garlic to your size preference, and harvest or prepare your rosemary.
- Combine chopped garlic, oil of your choice, and fresh rosemary in a pan and simmer to infuse the oil (or start the day before and do a cold infusion).
- When the Yampah is done steaming, strain it and place it directly in the pan with the garlicky rosemary oil you just prepared. Turn off the heat and give it all a good toss and make sure all the roots are covered in the delicious herb infused oil.
- Once tossed it is ready to be served with whatever other foods you'd like. I chose wild rice and salad!
Yampah can be prepared with any combination of herbs and spices, or sauces, just like you might with a potato or sweet potato. So, get creative and enjoy!
Now you might be thinking, how would I ever get 30 Yampah tubers? You can start planting now, and they multiply over the years. Or, you can find a meadow to wild harvest in, but make sure to take only a small portion of what's there, so it can sustain itself. And, be sure you know the wild lookalikes, because poison hemlock is not something you want to dig!