Malanga & yautía roots are starchy root vegetables similar to potatoes but with an even starchier texture and a nutty taste. They grow across Puerto Rico and are an important food source because of their resiliency. Grown underground, they can better withstand hurricanes and large storms. At OtraCosa, a small communal farm in Caguas, Puerto Rico, this dish is served with homemade pique, a local hot sauce made with pineapple skin and caballero peppers. A simple watercress salad makes an ideal accompaniment. Read more about OtraCosa.

EatingWell Magazine, April 2021


Credit: Jenny Huang

Recipe Summary

20 mins
30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place malanga (or taro) and yautía (or yucca) in a large pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain.

  • Meanwhile, combine cilantro, culantro (or more cilantro), oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth.

  • Serve the vegetables with the pesto, avocado and hot sauce, if desired.


Culantro (recao) is a leafy green herb with an intense concentrated flavor similar to that of cilantro. It is a key ingredient in sofrito, a blend of aromatics that forms the base of many dishes in Puerto Rican cuisine.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup vegetables & 1 Tbsp. pesto
290 calories; fat 13g; sodium 239mg; carbohydrates 42g; dietary fiber 5g; protein 2g; sugars 1g; niacin equivalents 2mg; saturated fat 2g; vitamin a iu 622IU.