Sweet Potato And Spinach Bake

Sweet potato and spinach bake

I came across this recipe on the BBC Good Food website while I was searching for a sweet potato side dish to accompany salmon fillets. The combination of spinach and sweet potato sounded healthy and appealing but it was the addition of cream that really sold it to me.

The herb infused cream (I used dried rosemary and thyme) works really well with the sweet potatoes and the dish is lovely and comforting. I thought I'd squeezed most of the water from the wilted spinach but next time I'll have to try harder. When it came to serving up portions there was more water than expected in the bottom of the dish. As I was using a slotted spoon this wasn't an issue and the excess water didn't seem to detract from the taste.

This recipe is reminiscent of a potato gratin; it's easier to cook as it's not necessary to precook the sweet potatoes and had the added benefit of being healthier. It reheats well and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge until cooking is required.

Ingredients

Serves: 4

  • 850g sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (3mm thick)
  • 300ml single cream
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 sprigs rosemary or thyme (or a pinch of dried)
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • Nutmeg for grating
  • 25g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Butter for greasing
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fill and boil the kettle, then grease a large ovenproof dish that will comfortably accomodate the sweet potatoes.
  2. Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the garlic clove and herbs then slowly heat until the mixture just starts to bubble. Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper and leave to infuse.
  3. Put the spinach into a colander then pour over boiling water until it wilts. Allow the water to drain and then, using a wooden spoon, squeeze out as much water as possible. Grate a little nutmeg into the spinach and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place half of the sweet potato slices into the ovenproof dish then spread the spinach over the top to form a thin layer. Add the remaining potatoes then remove the garlic clove and herb sprigs from the cream before pouring it over the sweet potatoes.
  5. Top with the grated cheese then bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft and the cheese has turned golden brown.

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