Quick and easy is the theme. And by quick, I don't necessarily mean "takes no time," just "takes no time to prepare." So roasting a big pan full of sweet potatoes and pears for an hour still qualifies, because the prep time is mere minutes. On days like these, when I feel guilty for so much as thinking about anything besides this seminar paper (two more days to go!) I tend to just want to throw ingredients together and eat them all day long, no matter if it's a side dish meant to serve six. Although I realize variety in the diet is important, sometimes I don't necessarily require it every day. I figure if I've eaten lots of different whole foods throughout the week, that counts. Justification? Maybe. But we're not huge on leftovers here, so we tend to make one thing and finish it.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This recipe comes, again, from my beloved Veganomicon. If, for some crazy and inexplicable reason I have not yet convinced you to go get this book, here's one more plug. Every time I open this book I find something I want to make. And every time it's wonderful. These recipes appease even the most staunch meat-eater (R), they're creative and they're wonderful.
Moskowitz admits that this dish could just as easily be called "roasted sweet potatoes and pear" but she sticks with tzimmes. According to Marc Bouchard in an 2007 article, Tzimmes go back to the Jewish communities of Central Europe, where they tended to be root-vegetable stews simmered in a sweet sauce. Fresh or dried fruits are often added, in this case fresh pears and raisins. However, this preparation is not really a stew in the soup sense, but a sheet full of baked fruits and veggies. If that sounds good to you (and it does to me!) this would also make an excellent Thanksgiving side dish.
Sweet Potato Pear Tzimmes with Pecans and Raisins
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
3 firm bartlett pears, seeded and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup raisin
Oven preheated to 350
On a large, rimmed baking sheet, place the sweet potato and pear cubes. Sprinkle with the rest of the ingredients, reserving the raisins, and gently mix it up so that everything is well coated.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add the raisins, mix it all up a little bit, and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Serve!
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