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Posts Tagged ‘sweet potato’

 

I consider sweet potatoes a near-perfect food. I know they’re considered a starch, and those trying to lose weight might avoid them, but they’re full of so much goodness. They’re rich in fiber, and they’re one of the best sources of beta-carotene– for Vitamin A. You can do just about anything with them. For example, you can turn them into fries or use them in pies (hey, that rhymes!). Bake them in tarts and brownies. Serve them on the side of meat dishes. Roast them and use them in salads. Use them in soups or in place of regular potatoes for your breakfast hash. The list goes on and on.

I think I serve sweet potatoes at least 2-3 times each week in my home. We all love them, and I’ve convinced the kids that the more color they have on their plates, the better off they’ll be. So the kids welcome the sweet potatoes I serve them in any form.

We have endured a particularly wet winter here in Northern California, and that means less time outside and more time inside, hunkered down, trying to avoid growing webbing between our fingers and toes. That also means more warm soups to stave off the damp chill.

I love this recipe because it’s super easy to prepare (my number one criteria most of the time!), tasty and comforting. I like to top it with toasted prosciutto and toasted pecans, but you could easily sub a vegetarian or vegan option. I’ve also topped this soup with spiced, toasted pepitas  (see my recipe here). Of course, you don’t have to garnish your soups at all, but I think it’s nice to have a contrast of textures when you’re making a super smooth soup. This recipe serves 4-6 depending on whether you’re serving it as one of several courses or whether it’s the main attraction.

 

Ingredients

1 small red onion, skin peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil

1 tbsp ghee

2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

1-2 tbsp maple syrup

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Sea salt

3-4 slices of prosciutto

1/3 cup pecans

 

Preparation

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium het. Add in the onions and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions soften. Add in the sweet potatoes. Pour in enough stock to cover. Submerge the bay leaves. Tap in the cinnamon. Turn up the heat; bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the sweet potatoes are fork tender (25-30 minutes).

While the soup is simmering, place 3-4 strips of prosciutto and the pecans in a shallow baking dish and cook in a toaster oven (if you have one) on the “toast” setting or regular oven on broil until crisp. Be careful not to let it burn! The high fat content make both susceptible to burning.

When the sweet potato is cooked through, remove the bay leaves. Puree the mixture using a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) or a good immersion blender, adding a bit of warm water or more stock if you think the consistency is too thick. Stir in the maple syrup and 1 tsp salt. Taste and adjust seasoning, to your liking.

Pour into bowls, and garnish with crumbled prosciutto and pecans. Serve hot.

Enjoy!

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Many apologies for my delinquency! It’s been a very busy time with my foundation (Empowered by Light), and I simply haven’t found time to finish any posts. I also find winter to be a tricky time to post recipes because even though I’ve been cooking up some delicious dishes, it’s usually dark by the time they’re done, and I really hate to photograph food in anything other than natural light. That said, I have a lot to share, so please don’t be surprised if you see some posts in the near future showing dishes photographed under my kitchen lights. (Actually, a couple of the recipes below were snapped with the lights on, and you’ll see that it really detracts from the richness of color and texture. Maybe I’ll take a photography class next year to learn how to correct this.)

I’m also not sharing my turkey recipe (with sage butter) here–not because it isn’t one of my favorites, but because I only make it at Thanksgiving. And despite careful planning and preparation, I am always scrambling to get everything done on time, and can never manage to snap off a few shots to share with you. Maybe this year will be the year though, and I can share the recipe for next year!

In the meantime, here are some great side vegetable dishes, salads and desserts in case you want something other than the traditional mashed potatoes, green beans and stuffing recipes.

Lentil, pomegranate gorgonzola salad with fresh herbs (recipe here)

lentil above

Haricots vert with orange and hazelnut (recipe here)

beans above

Roasted sweet potato with maple and pecans (recipe here)

swt pot dish

Brussels sprout salad with bacon, leek and pomegranate (recipe here)

sprout pom salad close

Sweet potato gratin (recipe here)

swt pot gratin

Roasted fennel, chickpeas, grapes and peppers (recipe here)

fennel, grape side

Fresh pumpkin pie (recipe here)

pumpkin slice

 

Squash crumble bars (recipe here)

squash bars abovePlum cake (recipe here)

plum kuchen slice

Mushroom tart (recipe here)

mush tart close

 

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swt pot dish

 

I blogged about the Ottolenghi cookbook about a year ago, but I never tire of using the incredible recipes contained within it. Simple to make but resulting in complex flavors, the dishes are inventive and delicious. Of course, the food and photographs remind me of my days living in London, where a stop into Ottolenghi would start my mouth salivating, and I would rush home eager to tuck into the little boxes of delight.

I think this dish works for any season, although it would make an especially good accompaniment to a winter holiday dinner. I love that you can serve it warm or at room temperature–something common with many of the recipes from Ottolenghi.

A word about making the dish more family-friendly: My kids don’t appreciate much “heat,” nor are they fans of a lot of cilantro or parsley, but it’s easy to serve little ones first, before you toss in some of the more “controversial” ingredients. (Note: This recipe is from the Ottolenghi cookbook, but the Ottolenghi founders, Yotam and Sami, originally found the recipe on epicurious.com.

 

Ingredients

2-3 sweet potatoes, washed but unpeeled

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 tbsp pecans

4 green onion, chopped, white parts and a little green

4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

4 tbsp golden raisins

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Dressing:

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp orange juice

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

 

swt pot tray

Cut the sweet potatoes (with the peel still on!) into 3/4-inch cubes. Spread the cubes out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix the ingredients and make sure the cubes are evenly coated. Roast in the oven for about 30 or until just tender, turning them over gently about halfway through.

Put the pecans in a small, shallow oven-proof baking dish and toast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop them coarsely.

For the dressing, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

When the potatoes are ready, transfer them into a large bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and pour in the dressing. Toss to blend, and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

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