A sweet potato is a sweet potato is a sweet potato, right?
NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!!
A few nights ago, Yanna Fishbone proved Western North Carolina wrong that a sweet potato is just a sweet potato. Slow Food Asheville hosted an event around the “Nancy Hall” sweet potato which was just inducted in to the Slow Food Ark of Taste. This may not sound like a big deal, but having this lovely light fleshed ‘sweet’ placed in this international catalog of heritage foods is a grand success story!
At the event, we tasted 10 different varieties; a small quantity compared to the 40 some different varieties that Yanna grows.
Have you ever seen such a beautiful plate of colors? And the tastes, wow, each one was so distinctly different from the next. It was an eye-opening event that left my palette wanting more.
First item up for taste where these amazing sweet potato doughnuts….mmmm…
There were other delectable tasty treats such as sweet potato pizza, risotto, pies, and breads.
All in all, the event was very successful and everyone left with new knowledge and the ability to grow their own special varieties of sweets.
The Ark of Taste is a wonderful reference guide to unique foods that we are trying to keep in the food chain and not let go extinct. There is everything from heirloom vegetables to heritage meats, and is available to anyone who would like to purchase them. These fun items also make great Christmas presents for your friends and family, so go to the list on Slow Food USA and pick yours out today!
Here is a recipe for my sweet potato risotto. This is a hearty side dish for the holidays, so go to your local tailgate market or farmers market and pick out some big beauties to turn into something yummy!
Sweet Potato Risotto
1/3C extra virgin olive oil 2 large sweet potatoes 1C yellow onion, small dice 3 cloves garlic, minced 1C Marsala or Chardonnay 2C Arborio rice 5 1/2C chicken or vegetable stock, homemade if you have it Salt & Pepper 1T fresh sage, minced 4T unsalted butter Parmesan for grating on top
- Boil sweet potatoes in pot of water until a fork pierces easily. Remove from water, let cool. Remove skins and mash up with a fork, leaving some large chunks; set aside
- Heat stock on stove and keep warm for future use.
- Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in a wide pan, add onions and garlic. Saute´for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions are translucent but not brown.
- Add in rice and mix thoroughly with onion & garlic mixture.
- Add in Marsala or wine and let the rice absorb it for a few minutes, stirring a time or two.
- Add in 1 cup of stock, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Keep adding in the warm stock 1/2C at a time until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente´, this will take about 20-30 minutes.
- Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes , butter, and sage.
- Season generously with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Top with fresh grated Parmesan.