Savory Sweet Potato Mash, Gluten-free, Dairy-free

 

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I’m not gonna lie, I don’t much care for sweet potatoes.
I know, I know, everyone has told me I should eat them because they are good for me, but my experience with them has been cloyingly sweet, or chili-pepper hot, deep-fried with heavy dipping sauces, neither are my favorite.
To be honest, once in awhile I’ll bake one and stuff it with chorizo, butter, cotija and cilantro, but with the dairy-intolerant in the crowd I have to save that option for days they are not visiting.

It was family dinner nite and I was racking my brain on what to do with my 6 Jersey Sweets on hand. (They are the ONLY ‘sweet’ potato I tolerate, primarily because they are not that sweet.)
As I rolled things around the savory/dairy-free conundrum in my head, it dawned on me: instead of butter (or fake butters) what if I used an infused oil instead?

Ah HA! (pat myself on the back!)

This is what I came up with: Herbs de Provence & garlic scented, sage infused olive oil (a good tasting one), along with bacon, chives and garnished with parsley. For those who feel the need to ‘brighten’ up the flavors you could add a squeeze of lime, but I LOVED the way they turned out. So did the rest of the family!

***Note: I do not recommend any other ‘sweet’ potato for this recipe. Jersey Sweets (they are light brown in color and can vary in shape and size) are ideal because of their lower sugar content and earthy flavor.

Savory Sweet Potato Mash, Gluten-free Dairy-free
(serves 6)

6 medium sized Jersey Sweet Potatoes (approx 6-8 inches long), peeled and cut into equal sized chunks
2 cloves Garlic, peeled & whole
1 generous palmful of Herbs de Provence
1/3 C Olive Oil, good tasting-like an EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Sage, leaves from 2 sprigs
2 Green Chives, white & light green part only
6 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled, 1-2 slices reserved for garnish
Parsley, minced for garnish
Kosher Salt & Pepper

Peel and chunk the potatoes, adding them to a pot of cold water to cover by a couple of inches. Add the garlic cloves and Herbs de Provence, and a good generous palmful of kosher salt  then bring to a simmer. Cook potatoes until a fork can easily pierce them.

While the potatoes are cooking, in a small saute pan add the oil and sage leaves. Turn on low heat and allow to come to a simmer.  Simmer the leaves (it looks like they are frying) for a minute. You are aiming to get them to release their oils, not brown them, but they will change color and texture.
Turn off heat and let leaves continue to perfume the oil while the potatoes cook. Reserve a generous tablespoon or two of the oil for garnish.

When the potatoes are tender, drain.
Put hot potatoes (including the boiled garlic cloves) back into the pot on the – now turned off but still hot – burner to let the excess water in the potatoes steam off and dry out a bit.
Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes and garlic in the still hot pot. You really want to render some of that excess water out. You can turn the burner on very very low for a few minutes to assist, adding some of the sage infused olive oil to keep from sticking.
Add 3/4 of the olive oil to the potatoes, reserving some to spoon over the top at serving.
Mix in the chives, bacon and stir to combine.

Pile potatoes into a warmed bowl, garnish with bacon bits, parsley and drizzle the extra oil over the top.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did, its a real keeper! You could add a DF/Vegan cheese if you wanted, or change up the herb to infuse in the olive oil.
Personally, I think they were perfect the way they were, and paired extremely well with a roasted pork tenderloin but they will go well with roasted chicken or steak.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, this would work without the bacon.

ENJOY and let me know what you think!
(Check out the photo below, glistening with that drizzled sage-y flavorful olive oil!!)

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