I’ve mentioned before that my daughter has become a vegetarian. I’m afraid that at this point she really means it. No. More. Meat. While that may be fine for her, her mother is having a difficult time of it. What? No bacon? No burgers? While I may not embrace her choice, I do support the decision and I certainly want to be able to provide some tasty snacks, so I’ve been honing in on some of the foods that she does enjoy. This week, I’m experimenting with the lovely sweet potato.
The sweet potato is the ugly duckling of the vegetable world. This strange looking tuber actually transforms into some beautiful, not to mention tasty, food. Not only that, it provides some serious nutrition….this is a root vegetable that qualifies as an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. And did you know that a yam is really just a sweet potato with a different name? I like just saying the word yam. So now that we have a great tasting, fun sounding veggie, what do we make with it? Hmmm. How about a Sweet Potato Bruschetta?
I’m not sure of the exact moment that I thought of making a Bruschetta out of my sweet potato. It may well have been a dream. Or, I may have thought of it as I passed a really nice baguette display in the grocery store. At any rate, this is what I came up with:
Sweet Potato Bruschetta
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2” slices
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cut clove of garlic
1 recipe Sweet Potato Chutney*
Begin by toasting the baguette slices. I do this by placing them on a large cookie sheet and putting them in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes, until they are nicely browned. Remove them from the oven and drizzle a bit of olive oil on each slice and then rub each slice with the cut clove of garlic. Then, simply top each slice with a spoonful of the Sweet Potato Chutney.
I cheated this time and just used a flavored dipping oil. See the red pepper at the bottom? It gave the oil just a bit of a kick.
Sweet Potato Chutney:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large, sweet onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1/2 (about 3 cups) of a fresh pineapple, cubed
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or I found this stuff in a tube that looks like pureed fresh ginger--yum! use a teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon curry
a pinch of salt
Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium/high heat. Add the crushed red pepper and the chopped onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onions until soft and just starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan, stirring well. Cook over medium heat until the liquids boil down and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Doesn't this picture just shout beta-carotene?
The truth is, you can use this chutney on about anything. I tried it on grilled salmon and I also caught my daughter just eating it straight from the bowl....
Since I bought a boatload of these tasty tubers, stay tuned for more sweet potato adventures. Yam and eggs, anyone? Yamburgers? Hot Yam and Cheese? Yambalaya? I love that word.....