In my mind, (and our other hippo admin will roll her eyes) when a vegetable, more specifically a root vegetable is described as “earthy”- to me that means “dirt”. As in “tastes like”. It’s not that I’m adverse to veggies that spend a majority of their maturation underground, (I’m talking about you, carrots and baby red potatoes) it’s just that sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc. have never really been high on my list of sides. Which is unfortunate b/c it usually plays out that whenever a side dish is suggested at one of the Hippo satellite residences, sweet potatoes usually get the hearty nod from herself while I’m left cringing in my slippers.
But the noble sweet potato is more than an incredible source of nutrients, it can also be called upon to be something greater than the glorified Thanksgiving dish that gets covered in miniature marshmallows. The other night, we ordered a deli rotisserie chicken from the Holy Land Restaurant on Lowry and Central and for a simple side we made the following healthy melange’ of earthy “root” vegetables. (Including the dreaded pairing of brussel sprouts and…gasp…parsnips. Leave me be. I’m working on getting past my bias.) This was incredibly tasty and whips up in about 15 minutes of prep time (with a helper) and around 45 minutes in the oven at 450. As an added bonus? A swoon-worthy alternative to your holiday mashed sweet potatoes- “Fiery Sweet Potatoes”. (A sweet and spicy whipped blend of deliciousness)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium carrots (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick circles
- 1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1/2 pound), halved
- 4 cups red bliss potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
- 3 medium parsnips (about1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 cup sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet pan with extra-virgin olive oil. Place vegetables in baking sheet and add the dried herbs, salt and pepper. Toss well, evenly coating all the vegetables with the seasonings and oil. Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry
Spread the vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Fiery Sweet Potatoes
Time: About 2 hours
5 pounds sweet potatoes
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt.
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake potatoes on a baking sheet until very soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.
2. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk with curry paste over low heat. Mix coconut milk mixture, half the sugar, half the butter, and salt into potatoes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or cover and refrigerate up to two days.
3. At least 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 degrees. Put potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover potatoes, dot with remaining butter and sugar and broil until brown and crusty on top, checking often to prevent scorching.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.