This isn’t a very novel or complicated recipe. I’m sharing it nevertheless since it would never have occurred to me to make it if I hadn’t been served something quite similar by my neighbor Ruth Gillan a few weeks back. I figure some of my readers may not have thought of it either!
When I was a little girl I thought I disliked sweet potatoes. My mother served them every Thanksgiving and Christmas candied up with lots of butter and maple syrup, and I found them cloying.
As an adult I discovered that I actually LOVE sweet potatoes; I just don’t like them candied. The fact that they are super good for me, with lots of beta carotene and vitamins, is a bonus.
I love to bake them and eat them (healthy skin and all) with a little butter, salt, and pepper. I love to roast them with a little olive oil in the oven. And I love them as Ruth served them to me … chopped up into very small pieces and gently fried. She put a little maple syrup in her potatoes. I prefer them without it, oniony and peppery with just a little herb or spice.
For the picture below I peeled my sweet potatoes because the inner orange beauty is more photogenic than the brown skin. If you want to be extra healthy, however, leave on the skin.
You don’t have to use a nonstick pan as I recommend, but it helps control the amount of fat you will need in cooking. According to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, one needs a little fat in sweet potatoes to enable one’s body to absorb the Vitamin A they offer. One doesn’t have to get carried away with the fat, however!
1 medium sweet potato (peeled if you like)
1 small-to-medium onion, peeled
a splash of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
chopped herb or spice of your choice: I like parsley or rosemary or sage or thyme; I also like a toasted cumin seed with or without a little cilantro
Cut the sweet potato into very tiny cubes, about 1/4 inch square or even smaller. Dice the onion into pieces of a similar size.
In a nonstick pan over medium-high heat warm the oil until it begins to shimmer. Toss in the sweet-potato and onion pieces. Let them brown for a couple of minutes, then add the salt and pepper and turn them. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to keep the sweets from burning, until the potatoes and onions are brown and cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes. (The sweet-potato pieces should be able to be pierced easily by a fork.)
Toss on the herbs or spices and serve. This recipe serves 2 but can be doubled or halved very easily.