Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baked Leek and Sweet Potato Gratin

If given the very difficult task of narrowing down my top five favorite vegetables, I would have to go with the following: broccoli, brussel sprouts, red peppers, green peas and sweet potatoes.

When it comes to sweet potatoes, I'm not very creative. I usually just peel, chop and roast them with a little olive oil and salt. Sometimes I make sweet potato casserole. On very rare occasions, I mash them. But mostly, I stick to roasting.  So when I came across this recipe for baked leek and sweet potato gratin in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to try it.

For such a pretty dish, it was surprisingly easy to make. There was lots of downtime while it was in the oven, which I always appreciate, and when we finally sat down to dinner, I found that the gratin was both delicate and flavorful - different than most recipes I make, but in a good way. My only gripe is that the magazine suggested pairing the gratin with a green salad for a meal, which we did. In the future, I think I'll serve this with something a little more filling - a rustic stew or a black bean soup. This would also make a great side dish for Thanksgiving, so at the very least, bookmark it until November!

Now, to find a new, innovative, impressive, exciting and easy way to prepare broccoli...

Baked Leek and Sweet Potato Gratin
from Vegetarian Times

You will need: 
1.5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts chopped (6 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 medium sweet potatoes (2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup low sodium vegetable broth
3 Tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 450F. Coat a 10-inch round casserole dish with cooking spray.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, garlic and 1.5 Tbsp rosemary; saute 8 minutes, or until softened. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Arrange one third sweet potato slices over bottom of prepared casserole, overlapping slightly. Spread half of leek mixture on top. Arrange another one-third sweet potato slices over leeks; top with remaining leeks, followed by remaining sweet potatoes. Drizzle broth over top, cover pan with foil, and bake 35 minutes.

Stir together breadcrumbs, remaining 1.5 tsp oil, and remaining 1.5 Tbsp rosemary in a small bowl. Remove foil from gratin and sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for another 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are browned and crisp. Let gratin cool slightly before cutting into 8 wedges.

Per slice: 143 calories; 3 g protein; 3 g total fat; (<1 g sat fat); 28 g carbs; 0 mg chol; 111 mg sodium; 4 g fiber; 8 g sugars.