Recipe Type: Side Dish
Sweet potatoes are a ho-hum vegetable most of the time; dry, boring, and needing a ton of sugar to add flavor. However, the sweet potatoes our farmers have been bringing are just bursting with flavor – they are fresh, juicy, healthy and tasty. Here are a few easy ways to prepare them that are sure to please. The first recipe is for mashed sweet potatoes with pears, and I’ve included it because it’s a great reminder that we can mash most root vegetables with a variety of other vegetables and fruits with delicious results. Use the recipe as a starting point to experiment with mashing sweet potatoes with everything from cauliflower and romanesco to apples and pears….
- 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 large firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/3 inch-thick slices
- 3/4 cup (or more) pear nectar or cider
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2 – inch glass baking dish. Pierce potatoes in several places with fork. Place on baking sheet; bake until very tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 350°F.
- Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup nectar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, adding more nectar if mixture sticks to skillet and stirring often, about 4 minutes. Transfer to processor and puree.
- Peel sweet potatoes; place in large bowl of electric mixer. Add 4 tablespoons butter; beat until smooth. Mix in pear puree, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared dish (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
- Bake potatoes uncovered until just heated through, about 20 minutes