The Perfect Dish?
Here we are at the end of the autumn season (in my book, winter officially starts December 1st). In case you weren’t around back at the start of the autumn season, I’d like to revisit the value of roasting vegetables in the grander scheme of a recipe. Yes, roasting is more time consuming than the boiling usually called for in recipes such as the one for this tasty mash. But it intensifies the natural flavors of the vegetables and also infuses them with the flavors of whatever herbs and seasonings you may be using. In this case, instead of just watered down sweet potato and cauliflower flavors, you get sweeter notes from the roasted potatoes, caramelized hints from the roasted garlic, and a much more robust whiff of mellowed garlic and delicate marjoram.
Gosh, I shouldn’t write these things over my lunch hour. I’m wishing I hadn’t eaten all of this mash for dinner last night so right about now I’d have had some for leftovers.
The best thing about this dish was that besides the roasting, which you can walk away from to go take a shower or clean the cats’ litter box or finally root through your crisper drawer and toss out the stuff that’s gotten shriveled, it was fast and left only one dirty bowl in the sink.
Wait. I lied. The very best thing about this dish is how “good for you” it is. You’ve got the beta carotene of the sweet potatoes, which is your starch for the meal. You’ve got the vitamin C of the cauliflower, which is your veggie for the meal. And since these two ingredients were roasted, there was no water to leech away the majority of these vitamins. Then you’ve got your bacon for protein and the sour cream for calcium/dairy. If you use the soy bacon and the fat free sour cream I suggest, the fat content is minimal and only the healthy kind to boot.
Wait. Sorry, I lied again. The very very best thing about this dish is how it tastes and looks! You would never guess this is one of the healthiest dishes I’ve put up on the blog (and there are a bunch to compete for that title). You’ll be charmed by how colorful and aromatic it is.
And that’s no lie!
ROASTED SWEET POTATO AND CAULIFLOWER MASH
Adapted from Food Cures: Treat Common Health Concerns, Look Younger & Live Longer
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t. dried marjoram
salt and freshly grated black pepper
1/2 c. vegetable broth, heated
3 T. fat-free sour cream
8 strips of soy or regular bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 scallion, thinly sliced into rounds
Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place potato cubes and cauliflower florets on baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Toss to coat and sprinkle with garlic, nutmeg, marjoram, salt and pepper. Toss again, cover with foil and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are soft. Remove foil and roast for another 3-5 minutes to allow vegetables to brown just a bit.
When vegetables are done roasting, place in a medium bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir in heated vegetable broth and mash vegetables some more. Stir in sour cream and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed. Fold in bacon crumbles. Top with scallion and serve immediately.