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Savory Thanksgiving Side: Danielle’s Sweet Potato Gratin from "Ottolenghi"



Ottolenghi

We asked Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty, Jerusalem) to share a recipe from the new American edition of his debut cookbook, Ottolenghi--something he considers a particularly smashing side dish at a holiday feast. He came back with a sweet potato gratin worhty of a face-off with the candied yams. Enjoy--and browse more of our editors' picks for the best cookbooks and more guides to Holiday Entertaining.

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This comforting dish was created by Danielle Postma, who is now back home in South Africa running her own blossoming food business, Moema’s. We would have loved to take some credit for Danielle’s success, but she actually had it all before coming to Ottolenghi. Danielle’s big personality and warmth make everybody fall in love with her in an instant. She has a natural gift for presentation and, like herself, her food constantly smiles.

This dish is simple but effective due to the way the potatoes are arranged in the baking dish. You can prepare everything a day in advance and have it ready in the fridge to just pop in the oven. The sage can be replaced with thyme, or you could use both. Make sure you choose orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (as opposed to the paler variety).

Serves 4 to 6

6 medium sweet potatoes (about 3¼ lb / 1.5 kg in total)

5 tbsp coarsely chopped sage, plus extra for garnish

6 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp coarse sea salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup / 250 ml heavy cream

1  Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Wash the sweet potatoes (do not peel them) and cut them into disks ¼ inch / 5 mm thick. A mandoline is best for this job but you could use a sharp knife.

2  In a bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the slices of sweet potato in a deep, medium-size ovenproof dish by taking tight packs of them and standing them up next to one another. They should fit together quite tightly so you get parallel lines of sweet potato slices (skins showing) along the length or width of the dish. Throw any remaining bits of garlic or sage from the bowl over the potatoes. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, place in the oven, and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and pour the cream evenly over the potatoes. Roast, uncovered, for a further 25 minutes. The cream should have thickened by now. Stick a sharp knife in different places in the dish to make sure the potatoes are cooked. They should be totally soft.

3  Serve immediately, garnished with sage, or leave to cool down. In any case, bringing the potatoes to the table in the baking dish, after scraping the outside clean, will make a strong impact.

Yotam Ottolenghi is co-owner of four Ottolenghi restaurants, co-author of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, and author of the weekly New Vegetarian column in the Guardian newspaper. He lives in London.



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