SWEET POTATO REVISION: HEALTHY SWEET POTATO SIDE
BAKED SWEET POTATOES WITH CITRUS AND MASCARPONE
FOOD AS MEDICINE:
Cooking sweet potatoes this time of year often involves topping them with marshmallows or folding them in a pie but there are several other delicious more nutritionally sound options. Roasting and steaming are two easy cooking techniques that retain water-soluble vitamins that could be lost from boiling. Carotenoids like beta-carotene are best absorbed when consumed with fat and through cooking (which forms the more easily absorbed compounds), so an easy solution is tossing cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil and rosemary and roasting.
Sweet potatoes are easy to store and prepare. They will keep about ten days when stored in a cool, dry, dark place like a cupboard; be sure to keep them away from both excess heat (such as near the stove) or excess cold (such as the refrigerator, which can negatively impact the flavor). If organic or local, enjoy the whole vegetable, peel and all.The skin itself varies from white, yellow, orange, red, or purple, lending to the sweet potatoes’ visual appeal.
Recipe adapted from November 2003 edition of Delicious Living.
This easy recipe combines few but flavorful ingredients for a delicious way to showcase sweet potatoes on your next menu.
4 pounds (or 6-8 medium-large) sweet potatoes
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
8 ounces mascarpone, divided
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 whole orange
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh chervil
Preheat oven to 375º. Bake sweet potatoes until a fork can be inserted easily, about 1 hour. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scrape pulp out of skins, leaving about 1/8 inch of potato lining the skin.
In a food processor, combine cooked pulp, orange juice, and 4 ounces mascarpone. Purée just until mixed. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
Refill sweet potato skins with purée. Heat through for 15 minutes at 375º. Preheat broiler. Dollop remaining mascarpone on top of each potato. Place underneath broiler just until mascarpone begins to brown. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
Using a fine zester, grate zest from one orange over potato halves and garnish with chopped chervil. Serve immediately.