Continuing along the theme of getting out of my rut and cooking things I don’t often make, last night I made smitten kitchen‘s swiss chard and sweet potato gratin. This was a two-fer. For one, I don’t think I’ve eaten swiss chard before, let along cook it. I know what it is, but it’s just not something (along with eggplant) that was part of my vegetable vocabulary growing up and I just hadn’t gotten around to introducing it.

I also was not a huge fan of the sweet potato. Most of my encounters with this morning glory tuber were of over the top icky sweet dishes. I’ve had a few encounters where I felt as if I had to consume all the sweet potato crop for the year in one sitting with nothing for variety, so I am often hesitant to add this item to my basket.

I figured this might be a good dish to do so.

It is. It’s a marvelous yummy dish and we ate almost all of it. I didn’t think the sweet potato was overwhelming me at all. I loved the swiss chard. I loved my substitution mix of sharp cheddar, gouda, and parmesean. I loved all of it and would make it again. Except for one itty bitty thing.

The only problem (for me) is the prep time. And if you are prepping the dish alone, I do not suggest making this on an already-crazy-Monday. I spent over an hour in prep, some of it doing Gruyere substitution research, but that’s a lot of prep time for a Monday meal. The end result was worth it and it was marvelous to eat, but take Deb’s advice and make it the day before and then just pop it in the oven or make it on a quieter night when an hour of prep time doesn’t threaten to derail your week.

I tried taking photos of this dish, but they came out looking a lot like what Shadow left on the rug that morning (which I almost stepped in). Poor little guy. He seems a bit better. He’s still limping a bit but thanks to many patient, helpful, and caring friends have an idea what it might be and am monitoring it.

Tonight’s dinner? butternut lentil dal and I learned a new technique for roasting butternut squash. I poked it a ton (like a potato) before I put it in the oven, but SO EASY. No scary thwacking with a big knife. I just peeled the skin off when it was cool enough to touch (which for my fingers was practically straight out of the oven). It smells really really good and I only wish I had not used my can of coconut milk on rice pudding the other morning so we’ll see how well my milk substitute works. I can never seem to keep cans of coconut milk in the pantry.

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One Reply to “yums”

  1. Easy peasy thing to do to sweet potato that isn’t too sweet —

    Peel and cut into large chunks, and boil in a large pot of water until soft. (Doesn’t take very long, maybe 20 minutes?)

    Drain, and mash, either by hand, with a mixer or in the blender or food processor with Smart Balance margarine (or whatever you can use — I’m not remembering all your ingredient issues right now). About 1/4 cup margarine to 1 large sweet potato. Adjust to suit taste, and add spices to suit taste as well — I usually use onion (either powder, dried minced, or diced real onions, sautéed in olive oil first, and then you need less margarine), garlic, basil, black pepper, maybe a touch of salt if needed.

    Makes a really fast and good side dish. Or I’ve eaten it as dinner mixed with brown rice.

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