We had a blast of Indian Summer – furnace blast in the 90’s! Thunderstorms two nights in a row may lead to predicted temps in the 40’s. As we see-saw between two seasons, one can excuse a post-lunch trip to the local ice cream shop and a hankering for comfort sides at dinner.
Yep, we fried smashed sweet potatoes seasoned with a little nutmeg, but the fresh herb “salsa” came right out of our late summer garden, straddling flavor profiles the way September straddles summer and fall.
Pan Fried Smashed Sweet Potatoes – Serves 4-6
1 pound Sweet Potatoes (Yams), peeled
3 tablespoons Grape Seed oil
1 small onion, diced
6 ounces Cheddar Cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chives, snipped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
1. Boil the potatoes in a pot of lightly salted water, covered, until tender and fairly easily pierced with a fork (25-30 minutes.) Remove from the water to a large mixing bowl.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the grape seed oil in a heavy skillet and cook the diced onion until tender and transparent. Add to the potatoes.
3. Coarsely mash (smash) the potatoes and onions together with the cheese and nutmeg.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil in the skillet until hot, but not smoking, and add the potato mixture, gently patting flat and to the sides. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the bottom is well set. Use a metal spatula to loosen the potato disk and invert it onto a plate that is larger than the diameter of the frying pan.
5. Heat the last tablespoon of oil in the pan and return the potato disk to the heat, guiding it into the pan with the spatula. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the bottom is also nicely crisped and browned.
6. In a small bowl combine the herbs, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk to blend.
7. Cut the potatoes into wedges and serve with a portion of the herb “salsa.”
P.S. Since it’s National Celiac Awareness Day it seems like a good time to recall why we do this. For most it’s prescriptive; for some it’s a choice. Some of us go along to support a loved one who must eat a gluten-free diet. Whatever, last night it was helpful to revisit our Top Ten Reasons to Eat a Gluten-free Diet.