This risotto variation is perfect for autumn. In fact, you can make the yam and apples as a side dish by itself. Start with a standard risotto recipe. For the protein I used pork brisket but you can use anything you think would go well with the other ingredients (crumbled bacon or left over turkey would do the trick). For the vegetable portion I took a garnet yam (one pound of orange deliciousness) and two apples (I prefer fuji). Cut them both into 1 inch cubes and put them in a large bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, one and a half tablespoons of maple syrup, juice and zest from half a lemon and a teaspoon of fresh thyme. Combine thoroughly and spread in a single layer on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake at 425°F for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown (check every 15 minutes and turn mixture over). Finally, I toasted a cup of pecans and coarsely chopped them to add crunch.
The yam and apples are delicious as a side dish in their own right. The roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the produce and the maple syrup aids the caramelizing.