Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Fall officially began a few days ago, but it took California a little while to get the memo. We had insanely hot weather the past few days, but I wasn't having any of it. I insisted on making a fall-inspired lunch today, and apparently the weather checked its calendar. I kid you not - literally as I was cooking, the clouds rolled in and a cool breeze kicked up, and the temperature dropped about ten degrees. Spooky.

But instead of being spooked, I rejoiced that suddenly this meal fit the day perfectly. It's filled with rich, indulgent flavors, but it's actually incredibly nutritious and not very fattening at all. You have your salty, your sweet, your tangy, and your peppery, all on one plate. You can create your perfect bite if you get all the elements on your fork at once. It's an experience to seek out, my friends. I recommend it.

The balsamic glaze is magical - make sure you use high quality balsamic vinegar, since you will be concentrating its flavor. The prosciutto provides a fantastic salty meatiness to contrast the sweet flesh of the potato. The arugula is refreshing and spicy at the same time. It all just comes together in a beautiful symphony of flavor.

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
serves 2


2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
2 ounces diced prosciutto
1/4 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cut ten 1/2 inch slits in each sweet potato and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, or until very tender.

2. When the sweet potatoes have about 10 minutes left to go, sprinkle the diced prosciutto on the baking sheet next to the sweet potatoes and return to the oven. Bake the prosciutto along with the sweet potatoes for the remaining time, until prosciutto is crispy and browned.

3. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced by about half, and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

4. Toss arugula with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Cut an X into the top of each sweet potato and peel back the skin around it. Mash up the flesh of the sweet potatoes lightly with a fork. Serve topped with arugula, prosciutto, and drizzled with balsamic glaze.


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