Friday, November 11, 2011

Roasted sweet potato and pear

While grocery shopping the other day, I was captivated by the pears and had an uncontrollable urge to buy one and invent a recipe to go with it. Sweet potato seemed like a good complement to the pear, so I bought one of those, too, while visions of fall goodness danced in my head.

The result last night was good . . . but not awesome as I had hoped. But I have some ideas for how to improve it next time, so I’ll keep all two of you readers posted. J

My first mistake was roasting the sweet potato for too long. My Google searches led me to believe that sweet potatoes take much longer to roast than pears, so I gave them a 20-minute head start, and they were completely done at the end of those 20 minutes! So I’ve adjusted the instructions below to reflect a more reasonable cooking time.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Pear

1 small sweet potato
1 pear (I used Anjou)
Olive oil
Sprinkling of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
Craisins (a small handful)
1-2 Tbsp. pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350; line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil spray. Wash sweet potato and cut into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices; toss to coat. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and pop into the oven to give the sweet potato about a five-minute head start.

Meanwhile, wash, core, and cube the pear, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with spices, and toss to coat. When the potato’s head start is up, add the pear cubes to the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes. It occurred to me halfway through making this that I could bake the sweet potato and pear in the same Pyrex bowl I used to toss them in the flavorings.

Meanwhile, put the Craisins into a small bowl with a little bit of water, and let them soak while the sweet potatoes and pears roast. When the timer goes off, add the Craisins (without excess water) and pecans to pan/bowl, and roast for an additional 5 minutes. Check for doneness, and enjoy!

Yield: 1-2 servings. The only other part of my dinner last night was some Greek yogurt that I ate for protein while this cooked, so I ate all of it. If it’s a side, it could easily serve two people.

Result and ideas for next time: This dish was definitely missing something. It was a little dry, and the flavor profile wasn't quite as complex enough for my liking. (Look at me, using a fancy term like "flavor profile." Can you tell I've been watching Food Network shows?) I think I will try one or more of the following adjustments next time:

  • Use a little bit of butter instead of all olive oil.
  • Sprinkle some cheese on at the end when I add the Craisins and pecans. I’m thinking Gouda or Parmesan . . . maybe Swiss.
  • Add some red onions.
  • As I’m typing out this blog post, it occurs to me that this could be awesome with the sauce from the Balsamic Roasted Pumpkin and Friends I made a few weeks ago. I can’t imagine balsamic vinegar and orange juice NOT tasting incredible with the pears and Craisins, and the added liquid would solve the dryness problem without dumping on too much oil. Hmm . . . this may be the winning idea. Now I can’t wait to try it!

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