Tag Archives: sweet potato

Zucchini, Tomato and Sweet Potato Gratin

Eating with your eyes is just as important as tasting with your tongue. I know I have mentioned this in the past but it is worth mentioning again. If you are going to prepare a dish for family, friends or yourself, you want it to look appealing. Combining different colors is an easy way to create visual beauty with food. This recipe is a nice blend of green, red and orange. Layering the vegetables in a circular pattern also made this a very attractive dish.

Gratins originated in French cuisine and has been adopted in many other culinary cuisines. I wasn’t sure exactly what gratin was until I saw one made on a cooking show. On this particular show the chef made potato au gratin which was gorgeous because of the crispy brown topping. Turns out a gratin is considered the technique of topping a dish with breadcrumbs or grated cheese then browning it.

While most of the gratin recipes I have seen are made with sliced white potatoes I wanted to think outside the box and combine potatoes with other vegetables. Plus, I wanted to make the dish pop with color. Hence, my Zucchini, Tomato and Sweet Potato Gratin. A ring of beauty and a delightful dish.

Zucchini, Tomato and Sweet Potato Gratin

Ingredients:

2 plum or vine ripe tomatoes sliced

1 large zucchini sliced

1 large sweet potato peeled and sliced

½ red onion sliced

½ cup shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp salt

½ tbsp ground black pepper

½ tsp dried thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat bottom of a large iron skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add minced garlic and spread around the skillet. Alternate slices of zucchini, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes in a circular pattern around the iron skillet. Place red onion slices over the other veggies then season with salt, ground black pepper and thyme. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place on the lower shelf of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Move to top rack and back for 20 – 25 minutes more. Test potatoes with a knife to make sure they are cooked and soft.

 

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Sweet Potato Stuffing with Pumpkin Croutons

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The holidays will soon be here so I have been trying out new recipes to bring in the season. Although stuffing is appreciated any time of the year, it graces most tables during the holidays. I absolutely love eating stuffing! I usually cut back on eating breads and sweets well in advance of Thanksgiving just so I can pig out on my mom’s cornbread stuffing.

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This Thanksgiving I thought I would give my mom a run for her money and make a stuffing that had fewer calories but was still full of flavor. I came up with the idea of a sweet potato stuffing while shopping at Trader Joe’s and saw a big display of Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons. The thought of sweet potatoes and pumpkin just seemed like a natural combination.

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The great thing about this recipe is that it very basic. As I have said on other occasions keeping it simple usually works best. I found the croutons provided a lot of spice so there was no need to add a lot of other seasonings. Salt, pepper and nutmeg was all that was needed to bring out the wonderful deep flavors of sweet potato and pumpkin.

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As usual, I used my family as guinea pigs to try out this new dish. I served the stuffing with pork chops and greens beans and had smiles all around. So, this Thanksgiving there will be extra stuffing on the table. We just won’t tell my mom.

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Sweet Potato Stuffing with Pumpkin Croutons

Ingredients:
8 oz pumpkin cornbread croutons (Trader Joe’s)
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1 cup chicken broth
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp nutmeg
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a medium non-stick frying pan. Add onions, celery, salt and pepper.. Saute until veggies are soft. Set aside.

Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and golden.

In large bowl add croutons, sweet potatoes, celery and onions. Gradually, add chicken broth to stuffing mix until croutons are softened and stuffing is well blended. Place mixture in a greased casserole dish. Dot the top with remaining butter. Bake for 30 minutes.

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