Sweet potatoes are such a powerhouse veggie! I have always loved eating sweet potatoes, but since I moved to North Carolina, I seem to find more and more ways to incorporate them into our meals or even just eating them for snack. Sweet potato fries? Sweet potato and gouda gratin? Sweet potato pie? All delicious choices! Click on the recipes above to check out some of these recent sweet potato posts.
In the spirit of promoting sweet potato pride, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission runs a recipe contest every year to collect the best recipes from around the state. My idea for a unique use of sweet potatoes is this sweet potato and bacon risotto. This dish is a meal all by itself. And, if you are lucky, the leftovers will make a great lunch tomorrow.
|North Carolina Sweet Potatoes from Puzzle Peace Farm|
1 to 2 sweet potatoes, or a few small ones
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups (or more) chicken (or veggie) broth
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
A handful of chives, chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
|Chopped sweet potatoes and local chives|
1. Pierce the sweet potatoes multiple times with a fork. Wrap the sweet potatoes in a paper towel or cloth towel and cook on high in the microwave for about 2 minutes until soft. Depending on the size your sweet potato, you might need more time. Set aside.
2. Saute onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add the arborio rice. Coat the rice with olive oil. I usually salt the rice at this point and use the low sodium broth to compensate for my extra salt at the beginning.
3. Add the 1/2 cup wine to the hot rice, onion, and garlic. For this recipe, I had an open bottle of pinot grigio in the fridge so this risotto was made with wine… if there is no wine in the fridge, there will be no wine in the risotto. I love adding wine to my risotto but it won’t ruin the recipe if you don’t have any in the house.
4. Add 1 cup of the broth and stir well. Stir pretty continuously while cooking over medium heat. I prefer to use a wooden spoon for my risotto and some risotto afficionados would tell you that you MUST use a wooden spoon. Add the second cup of broth after the first has been absorbed. Keep stirring. Add the broth one cup at a time.
5. Peel the sweet potato, roughly cut it into bite-sized chunks and then add it the risotto. Stir well. After the fourth cup of broth has been absorbed, test the rice to see if it is soft and delicious. If it is still too hard, add more broth and keep stirring. Add the parmesan cheese, the chopped chives, and the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
A few notes … This recipe can be made vegetarian or even vegan if you leave out the bacon and parmesan cheese. Both ingredients are not necessary! Although, if I do say so myself… everything tastes better with bacon. Especially bacon from C-Saw Hill. Yum. Arborio rice is naturally glutinous – glutinous with an “I” not gluten with an “E” – so the creaminess of the risotto actually comes from the slow stirring of the rice, not from adding any milk or cheese or flour thickener. Risotto is such a flexible meal! Experiment with other combinations and watch your family devour it.