Sweet potato and peanut gratin...

I've noticed recently that I'm eating less and less meat. Not only the red meat but meat in general. It isn't planned, it just happens to be that way... what really surprises me is that I'm not really missing the meat as such. Don't understand me wrong now - I'm all for a juicy, medium rare steak or a thin slice or Parma ham, but... but I don't really "need" it. I'm good with occasional meat dish or a slice of ham/bacon on my sandwich. I've discovered and confirmed that vegetables can be and ARE very versatile and can create a delicious, flavorsome, filling meal, on their own!

Sweet potato and peanut gratin

This particular recipe comes from "Veg everyday" cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage. This particular book became my bible, the very first "go to" book when I'm looking for an idea, inspiration, recipe for a veg dish. It has never failed me and it opened my taste buds to whole new experience! Sweet potato and peanut gratin is a combo you might not think about straight away, but it works! Creamy, soft and slightly sweet potatoes paired with crunchy and salty peanut butter. It does work! Warning - very filling and rich dish which will have you quickly addicted ;)

How to make it...

- about 1 kg sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus a little more for greasing
- 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped, or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250 ml double cream
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 g crunchy, no-sugar-added peanut butter
- finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus about 2 teaspoons juice

Sweet potato and peanut gratin

Heat the oven to 190 C and lightly oil a large gratin dish.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into slices about as thick as a 10p piece. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with a tablespoon of oil, the chilli, garlic, cream and some salt and pepper. Arrange half the sweet potato slices in the gratin dish, spreading them out with your fingertips – you do not have to layer them piece by piece, but try to ensure they are mostly lying flat.
Beat the peanut butter with the remaining tablespoon of oil, the lime zest and juice. Spread this mixture in dollops over the sweet potato in the dish. Add the remaining sweet potato and spread out. Pour over any cream remaining in the bowl.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil. Bake for a further 30 minutes or so, until the sweet potato is completely tender and the top is browned and crisp. For extra crispness, finish under the grill for a couple of minutes, but watch carefully. Serve piping hot with a crisp, bitter salad to balance the gratin's sweet richness.


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