[This week’s Lucky Comestible is sweet potatoes; here’s part 4 in the series. ]
Finding recipes that use familiar ingredients in new ways is almost as much fun for me as finding completely new ingredients. For instance, I loved it when I started to bake with all kinds of veggies in cakes, cookies, or other desserts (I’ll be writing more about that on Monday). The first time I tasted sweet cashew cream (a vegan substitute for dairy cream), I was immediately enraptured (I mean, a cream redolent of cashews and maple syrup? Talk about a no-brainer!). And don’t even get me started on olive soup.
So when I discovered that sweet potatoes made an excellent base for a salad (true, I was a little late coming to that realization; I’ve always been somewhat of a late bloomer), I was thrilled to be able to use one of my favorite vegetables at room temperature as well as in cooked foods and soups.
I’m already a great fan of a Sweet Potato-Ginger Salad recipe that I found in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. Then, by chance the other day as I avoided marking browsed some blogs, I came upon an intriguing recipe for Sweet Potato-Cranberry Hash from new blogger Karen at Test Drive Kitchen. With the post title, “My Favorite Side Dish of All Time,” how could I resist?
The recipe looked easy to make, and, as Karen mentions, contained gorgeous, brilliant autumnal colors courtesy of sweet potatoes, cranberries, and glossy green onions (and–bonus!–I got to use up the cranberries I had from yesterday’s scones).
I set about baking the potatoes only to realize I had no green onions in the house, so I used a regular onion and sauteed it along with the cubed apple. To compensate for the lack of green, I added some chopped parsley at the last minute. The result was an equally brilliant palette of colors.
The hash/salad turned out yummy, though my personal preference would be for more spice. And I do think it would have been better with the original green onions, which would have added a flavor kick that was lacking in sauteed one.
Sweet Potato and Cranberry Hash (adapted from Test Drive Kitchen)
This is an easy-to-prepare, visually stunning dish that tastes great. It’s a wonderful side dish for any holiday meal, or, in our house, a main course on its own.
3 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 2 lb./1 kg.)
2 Tbsp. (45 ml.) organic coconut oil
1 large apple (I used Gala), cored and cut into cubes
1/2 cup (125 ml.) chopped onion
1 cup (250 ml.) cranberries, coarsely chopped (I’m guessing dried would be fine, too)
1/2 tsp. (or more, to taste) cinnamon
pinch ground allspice
1/4 tsp. sea salt or more, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about an hour. Remove and cool completely; then skin and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm.) chunks.
In a nonstick frypan over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the apple cubes and onion, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to caramelize and are slightly browned, 5-10 minutes.
Add the cranberries and cook until they begin to wrinkle and pip, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, allspice, and sweet potatoes, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are heated through (about 4 minutes). As Karen mentioned, they may break up somewhat, but try not to disturb them too much. Add salt and pepper to taste, then top with parsley.
Transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature (we had ours at room temperature, and it was delicious that way, too). This made about 6 servings.
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Other posts in this series:
- Lucky Comestible I: Mini Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Sweet Potato and Carrot Casserole
- Lucky Comestible I(2): Sweet Potato “Fries” Three Ways and Miso Gravy