Sweet potatoes have to be one of my favorite vegetables. High in Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, antioxidants,anti-inflammatory nutrients and blood sugar nutrients these vegetables are a powerhouse for your health. They are also a great way to satiate a sweet tooth. These recipes are from my favorite cookbook the Healthy Hedonist by Myra Kornfeld. Both of these recipes are very simple and come together fairy quickly.
MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH TURNIPS
Turnips are a pretty unappreciated vegetable and one I tend tooverlook but combined with sweet potatoes they take on a whole new dimension. The shallots are used to infuse the oil adding a deep complexity to the potatoes. They are then used to top the potatoes providing a wonderful crispy texture. You can either coarsely mash these by hand or puree until creamy in a food processor.
1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 lb turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shallots, cut into thin rings (from 2 to 3 shallots)
freshly ground black pepper
Fill the saucepan with 1 inch of water, and set a steamer basket over it. Bring the water to simmer. Add the sweet potatoes and turnips, cover the pan, and steam the vegetables until completely softened, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Immediately strain the shallots, reserving the shallots and oil separately.
Remove the vegetables and the steamer basket from the saucepan, and discard the water. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a sprinkling of black pepper. Mash the vegetables coarsely, so that you can see the white flecks of turnips in the sweet potatoes. (Alternatively transfer the potatoes to a food process and process until smooth.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Served sprinkled with the caramelized shallots.
MASHED SWEET POTATOS WITH CHESTNUTS AND BRANDY
These potatoes are like putting on my favorite sweater. Warm, cozy and totally comforting. Perfect for the holidays or when you want to add something a little special to your dinner table.
2 lbs (2 large) sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (5 to 6 cups)
1 cup dried chestnuts, soaked overnight or quick-soak
3 cups water
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon brandy
Freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the sweet potatoes, chestnuts, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the sweet potatoes and chestnuts are softened, about 45 minutes. (check from time to time to make sure there’s still some liquid in the pot. Add a little more water if t seems dry.) Drain.
Transfer the sweet potatoes and chestnuts to a food processor, and add the butter and brandy. Process until smooth. Add a sprinkling of nutmeg and black pepper. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. Serve hot.
Note: My favorite online source for grains, beans and legumes is called Gold Mine Natural Foods. http://www.goldminenaturalfoods.com/ You can purchase dried chestnuts from their site.