Sweet Potatoes & Leeks
My Mom taught me this recipe and it is one of my favorites. It is extremely simple and is great when you are cooking for a large party. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to baked potatoes. Plus, they have many health benefits. Sweet potatoes have a high content of Vitamin A and C and are rich in antioxidants.
You will need 1 sweet potato per person you are cooking for. For example, if you have a party of 4, you will need 4 sweet potatoes. The recipe also calls for leeks, you will find them in the vegetable section at the grocery story, near the celery, lettuce, herbs and such. Leeks basically look like an over-sized scallion. You need 1 leek per 4 people. If you have a party between 4-8 I would do two, the more leeks the better! Finally, you will need olive oil, salt and pepper.
First, peel the sweet potatoes, but be careful, peelers are more dangerous than they look (don’t ask). Next, chop the potatoes into 1 inch pieces and place into a 9″x13″ dish. Uncooked sweet potatoes are very hard, much like a carrot, so be careful when cutting. Try using a large knife for more leverage. Now, its time for the leeks. Leeks are a root vegetable and sometimes have a lot of sand inside the layers, so wash throughly. Chop the leeks into 3/4 inch sections and scatter into the dish.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and drizzle the dish with olive oil, about 4-5 tablespoons. Then season with salt and pepper and mix. Your dish should look like the two pictures on top. Bake the sweet potatoes and leeks for 60 – 75 minutes. You want the ingredients to brown, so if your dish needs more time in the oven, don’t be afraid to cook it longer. Your end result should look like to the two bottom pictures.
Finally, ENJOY! Try this recipe at your next dinner party and it is sure to be a hit. Let me know how it goes!