Monday, October 05, 2009

Sweet potato and roasted beet confetti

This recipe features candy-like root vegetables that are sweet in two totally different ways. Cooking them separately preserves their beautiful colors and enhances the texture of each--they look amazing together and taste even better. Start by peeling and cubing one medium sized beet (I try to do this on a plastic bag to prevent from staining everything around me).You want little cubes about the size of the end of your thumb. Toss them in a baking dish with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and a teeny pinch of sugar and let them roast at 400 for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. You want them to get shriveled and very concentrated in flavor, kind of like making beet raisins.Meanwhile, cube up one sweet potato.Cook the cubes in a pan with about 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes or so to get them softened.Drain off the water and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and begin to saute your sweet potato cubes. Add 1 teaspoon each of cumin and chile powder. Be careful not to mush the sweet potato cubes but do turn them around so they get browned and delicious in the pan.When the sweet potatoes are soft and lightly browned, add in your roasted beets. Remove them from heat and very gently mix in 1 - 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon minced parsley. You want your sweet potatoes and beets to be separate from each other so don't mash them up while you mix.Taste to make sure all the flavors are correct--does it need salt or a little more vinegar or sugar? Top with a good handful of crumbled goat cheese to serve. Each creamy and spicy bite of the sweet potatoes is perfect with the intensely sweet and earthy beets. They were made for each other!

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