Sweet Potatoes are hard to find in Poland. I pick up a few when we find them; they’re yummy roasted with a little butter and salt. Always thinking, my husband suggested we prepare them with leek and bacon. So that’s why he’s calling this colorful side dish Ed’s Surprise rather than Sweet Potatoes with Leek and Bacon.
It’s a visually interesting mix of flavors and textures, one that I’m sure we’ll make again. For my tastes, this savory sweet potato dish is so much better than the sweet version served with marshmallows so often at Thanksgiving.
I’m only cooking for two, but you could easily make a bigger batch.
1 sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil*
1 leek, white and light green part quartered & sliced
3 – 4 slices dry cured ham (or bacon), diced*
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh parsley, chopped
1 fresh sage leaf, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
- Pierce the potato skin a few times with a fork and roast in the microwave (5-10 minutes) or oven (400 degrees for 45-60 minutes) until tender
- Add the oil to a frying pan and saute the leek over medium high heat*
- As the leeks become tender, add the ham, cooking until it begins to crisp
- Add the leaves from the thyme (by running your fingers down the stem from top to bottom, if the tender top of a shoot comes off with the leaves, it’s not a problem) with the chopped parsley and sage. You could substitute a pinch of dried herbs)
- Peel and dice the cooked sweet potato and add to the pan and season with salt and pepper
- Ready to serve, for this photo, the mixture was packed into a metal ring and the plate dotted with a balsamic reduction using a toothpick
*It was our desire to use bacon lardons, but our neighborhood market was out and a German dry cured ham, similar to Prosciutto or Seranno, was the closest thing. If you have “real” bacon, I would cook the bacon first and saute the leeks in the bacon grease, omitting the olive oil.