Friday, November 21, 2008

Hello Sweet Potato. Hello Squash!

The Wednesday Food Section of the New York Times had my mouth watering and while Mark Bittman had some nice sweet potato offerings, last weekend we made this little dish for Namiko's Birthday lunch to go with a beautiful roasted ham made by Tomoko. We all agreed it had Thanksgiving written all over it. Plus I think we got pretty artistic with the top (we had started to cut the squash in pretty circles until we stopped ourselves when we decided to try this...we can be quite spontaneous go with the flow kind of folks when we want to be).

The varieties of squash and sweet potato don't matter (what's the difference between a sweet potato and a yam anyway?) --whatever looks good at your local market, as long as everything is cubed the same size--I love the way honey, lime juice and mint come together---for me it's a little memory of Summer in the Fall and the flavors brighten up anything else on your plate. I'm a huge fan of sweet and savory together. The herbs you use don't matter as long they're fresh---Sage and thyme would be just as nice and very Thanksgiving-y--just omit the lime juice and add a dash of sea salt and a splash of sherry vinegar...
Roasted Sweet Potato & Winter Squash with Honey, Lime & Mint
serves 8-10

3-4 winter squash--acorn, butternut, delicata, kabocha
or any other beautiful squash you can find
2-3 very large yams or sweet potatoes or 6 medium
olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 c brown sugar (or agave syrup would work)
Juice of one lime
about 1/4-1/2 c. chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

-You'll need 2 cookie sheets--I lined mine with parchment but you can use foil too. Preheat the oven to 375ยบ. Wash and scrub potatoes and squash and peel everything. Keeping the sweet potato separate from the squash, cut it all into one-inch cubes (if you want to decorate it like I did just cut a few rounds off the top of some of them and baked them as well!). Lay out the squash on one sheet and toss with enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Put in oven. Lay the sweet potato on the next sheet and do the same with the olive oil and salt and put in oven.
After 20 minutes sprinkle some of the brown sugar on both pans and toss gently.
-Check potato after 30 minutes (10 minutes after you sprinkled the sugar!)...when it's soft drizzle with honey and toss gently---keep in oven 5 minutes more and pull out.
After 40 minutes (20 minutes after sugaring!) check squash for doneness and toss with rest of honey. Keep in for 5 more minutes and pull that sheet out.
Everything should be nice and soft (but not too soft) and coated nicely with honey.
-Turn out both pans into a dish. Taste and if you need more honey, add a little more so it melts into the hot melange. Add lime juice, mint and chives and a sprinkle of sea salt and a crack of pepper. Serve hot and eat vigorously.

We're going to Iowa for Thanksgiving...We'll have dinner with my honey's family...and I don't have to cook! I love Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law's--she's a great cook--I think we may have actually invited ourselves...


Anonymous said...

looks beautiful and sounds delicious!!!! will have to try this for sure! interested to see the lime and mint wi th squash!!!!!!

Julia said...

Two of my favorite things during this season!

Thank you for the delightful images!

cindy* said...

this recipe sounds so yummy and very fall.

Alyssa said...

Oooohhhhh - these look delicious! Thanks for the tips - I need a new vegetable dish for Thanksgiving:)

heidi said...

Oh, YUM!

High Desert Diva said...

Mmmm....I have yams, honey and lime, but no mint...blast!

montague said...


lotta said...

I've been searching for a new sweet potato/squash recipe for our Thanksgiving feast - and now I have found it. I will think of you while we savour it. Thanks for sharing and happy Thanksgiving!

Olivia StClaire said...

I must try this!! sounds INCREDIBLE!

AC said...

i totally skipped out on this recipe - sounds delicious!! i'm going to try it for our german xmas (which is really only german because we're having duck and red cabbage and has now become german new year). cheers!