Now that the CSA is over for the season (although I do have a deep winter subscription starting in February or March) and I am stocked up with half bushels of butternut squash, red onions and sweet potatoes, I have to start getting creative if I want to eat as locally as possible. Yet, how many ways can one make an orange vegetable taste, well, different? I’ve made sweet potato fries and sweet potato breakfast home fries. I’ve put them in fritattas and thrown them in soups. And I’ll certainly be putting them on my Thanksgiving table. Which is kind of where the inspiration for this dish came from. I had read about a savory sweet potato crisp (or streudel) recently, but couldn’t remember much about it other than the concept. So I thought I would experiment with my own version in an effort to have it perfected by that last Thursday of the month. This isn’t perfect yet, but it’s getting there….
Savory Sweet Potato Crisp
Chop 3 large sweet potatoes into 1 1/2″ pieces and then steam them until just soft – about 8 – 10 minutes. Then, like apple crisp, put them in a baking dish (9 x9 or 9 x 12). Season them with a few dashes of nutmeg, a touch of salt and pepper and chopped fresh sage. Put a half inch of liquid in the bottom – white wine, broth, apple cider or maybe even whiskey.
While the potatoes are steaming, cook 5 – 6 slices of good bacon (I used my meat share bacon, but would have loved Savenor’s applewood smoked bacon even more). When cooked to a crisp, drain on a paper towel until cool enough to crumble. Reserve the bacon fat (I did not say this was low-cal!). In a bowl mix together 2 cups of chunky breadcrumbs, 1 cup of chopped walnuts, the crumbled bacon, 1 T chopped sage and 1/2 T chopped rosemary. Pour the bacon fat on top and mix until a chunky “crisp-esque” crumble consistency is achieved.
Spread the topping on the chopped sweet potato and bake at 350 until topping is browned and the potatoes are very soft – maybe 30 minutes or so.