I fell in love with sweet potatoes about 10 years ago, before they were really big in mainstream cuisine (at least where I lived). I tried to shove them into so many recipes. This recipe is inspired by both my love for sweet potatoes and a recipe in Cuisine at Home Magazine for a Moroccan-style chicken dish that is full of warm spices, briny olives and a hint of lemon. I grew up eating hearty shepherds pie, usually made with elk or venison (beef was expensive and hard to come by in rural Montana). I wanted to make a shepherds pie with sweet potatoes and I thought the Moroccan flavors would lend themselves to the potatoes sweetness. I served it with a big dollop of plain yogurt and fresh lemon wedges. Big hit in my house! Even my 4 and 5 year olds gobbled up seconds of this one.
Yield: About 6-8 servings, depending on how hungry you are
- 3 - 4 medium sweet potatoes (actually, I used garnet yams), peeled and diced in 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 portabella mushroom caps (or equivalent), diced in 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, finely diced (or use 1/2 lb ground beef or lamb)
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 3 (or 10) cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 1 can (1 1/2 cups) garbanzo beans, drained
- 2 cups mushroom broth (or beef broth if using meat)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp paprika (smoked or sweet, whatever you prefer)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp each fresh cilantro and parsley
- lemon wedges
- plain yogurt to serve
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover sweet potatoes in cool water, bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain and add 1 tsp salt. Mash to desired consistency. Note: You can add more sweet potatoes or leave some out, depending on how thick you like the topping.
In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat till it shimmers. Saute mushrooms onion, carrot, celery and garlic till soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute more. Add lemon juice, broth, paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer till liquid is reduced to about half. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp each cilantro and parsley. Transfer mixture to 8x8 square casserole dish. Spread mashed sweet potatoes on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the edges are bubbly. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and parsley. Enjoy!
More to come with Love!