Like I mentioned yesterday, there is something so sweet about finding a new recipe and already having all the ingredients. This is especially true if said recipe needs a bit of changes to make it even healthier. After many years of cooking (ha, I’m in my 20s), I am still amazed at how recipes that are marketed as “healthy” can still be adapted and taste just as delicious. The Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin from one of my new favorite cookbooks, River Cottage Veg, is a perfect example.
First, let me tell you about this book. It’s full of 200 vegetarian recipes with glorious photos. There’s a bit of everything, from comfort food and hefty soups, to tapas and salads. Some of the recipes require a load of ingredients, but most are totally approachable. No weird food products you’ll have to hunt down at a random gourmet grocery store. Promise!
Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin, from River Cottage Veg
- 2 lb. sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp. sunflower oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream (I used almond milk)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (I used raw, unsalted almond butter)
- finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus about 2 tsp. juice
- Preheat oven to 375* and lightly oil a large gratin dish. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into slices a bit thinner than 1/8 inch. In a large bowl, toss the potato slices with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the chile, garlic, cream, and some salt & pepper.
- Arrange half the sweet potato slices evenly in the gratin dish. You do not have to layer them piece by piece, but try to ensure that the slices are mostly lying flat.
- Beat the peanut butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the lime zest, and the lime juice. Spread this mixture in dollops over the sweet potatoes in the dish. Cover evenly with the remaining sweet potato slices. Pour over any cream remaining in the bowl.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil. Bake for a further 30 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes are completely tender and the top is browned and crisp. For extra crispness, you can finish under the broiler for a couple of minutes, but watch carefully. Serve hot, with a crisp, leafy salad to balance the sweet richness of the gratin.
When I first saw the picture of the recipe, I said “GIVE ME THAT.” Aloud. To the book. It didn’t respond. 🙁 After reading the list of ingredients and seeing that it contained both peanut butter and lime, I was a bit weirded out. I love the two, but the combo seemed so odd. OH IT IS NOT. Not odd at all. Do not be scared of this. Just. Try. It. If you hate it, you can come over and I’ll make you something else. 😉