Monthly Archives: July 2013




Malanga is root vegetable native to the South American continent and the West Indies.  Sometimes it is known as coco yam, eddo coco, tanniatannia, sato uno, and Japanese Potatoes.  In Puerto Rico, malanga is known as yautia.  Malanga thrives in tropical and subtropical climate climates.  It is related to the taro.

The malanga plant is ornamental, related to the philodendron and dieffenbachia.  There are approximately 40 different species of malanga.  The malanga plant is over 6 feet high.  It produces large leaves, often more than 3 feet long.  The leaves of the plant are edible too.

The root of the malanga plant can range from 7 to 10 inches long, and weigh anywhere between 9 oz. and 2 pounds.  It is covered in thin, brownish skin that could be smooth, or downy, or could be studded with radicals.  The flesh of the root is firm, and crisp, with a slightly viscous pulp.  It ranges in color from white, to yellow, to orange, to pink, to a reddish color.

The malanga root has a slight reminiscent taste of hazelnuts.  It is high in starch.  The malanga root is best cooked.  Some varieties contain bitter irritants that are neutralized by cooking.  The flavor of malanga root can be overpowering, so use in moderation.  It is one of the most digestible complex carbohydrates.  Malanga root has the tendency to spoil quickly.

Malanga root contain thiamin, vitamin C, iron, and phosphorus.

Malanga Fritters

Peel and grate finely:

1 lb. white malanga root

Stir together with:

3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste

Mix well.  The consistency should be like a paste.  Drop a tablespoonful at a time into oil for deep-frying (heated to around 375°F).  Fry a few minutes, until golden brown, then turn and fry the other side.  Drain on paper and serve hot.

Serves 8 – 10 as an appetizer.

© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.
Please contact me if you wish to receive “Food For Thought” in your mailbox.





Arugula (Eruca sativa) is a leafy green member of the cabbage or Brassica family originally from the Mediterranean region.  It is also called rocket or roquette, and rulula cucola in Europe, or gharghir in the Middle East.  It has a strong, spicy, peppery flavor.  Arugula was first enjoyed by the ancient Romans and Egyptians.

The shape of the arugula leaf can vary slightly with variety.  Usually, the skinnier the leaf, the more sharp and astringent the flavor may be.  The flavor of arugula ranges to tones of black pepper, to spice, to the heat of mustard powder, and may have a nutty undertone.


         To decrease the amount of pungency of arugula, mix it with milder greens such as spinach.  Typically, when it is heated or cooked, the flavor intensifies.

Arugula can be eaten raw, in a salad, or used on a sandwich.  Baby arugula or micro-aruglua (just sprouted) can be used as garnishes.  It can slightly wilted when tossed with things such as hot pasta, or thrown on a hot pizza, or have hot meat added.  Avoid fully cooking arugula because sometimes there is the tendency to become very bitter.  Arugula is commonly used to make pesto in Italy.

sprouts, arugulamicro arugula

Arugula is full of nutritional benefits.  It contains vitamin A and vitamin K.  It is high flavonoids and has both possible aphrodisiac qualities and possible cancer preventative characteristics.  One cup of arugula is usually around only five calories.

Arugula is commonly associated with the spring and summer, but is available year round.  The earlier the arugula is harvested, typically the more flavorful it is.


Flavors that go well with Arugula

Cheese, bleu
Cheese, goat esp. chevre
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Peaches and nectarines
Truffle oil

© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.
Please contact me if you wish to receive “Food For Thought” in your mailbox.