Roasted sweet potatoes often graced the First Family’s dinner table. Yet even though roasting takes almost zero effort, it does take time. So when my day job as a policy advisor left me behind on dinner prep, I resorted to a highly sophisticated culinary technique for getting sweet potatoes ready fast: Cut them into small pieces and cook them in a pan. A few minutes of prep saves you almost an hour of cooking time. I use some of that stolen time to take the golden-brown cubes in three awesome directions. The same sweet potato–cooking principles apply: Make sure to balance their sugary quality with salt, acid or even something pleasantly bitter, like wilted greens.
Spinach, Currants, Pine Nuts and Balsamic Sauteed Sweet Potatoes
Serve 4 to 6
Active time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Spinach wilts in no time, adding color and flavor to the sweet, starchy cubes. An Italian-inspired trio of deliciousness does the rest—dried currants or golden raisins punctuate the potatoes’ natural sweetness, toasted pine nuts add richness and crunch, and balsamic vinegar provides the acid that balances it all.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2½ pounds sweet potatoes (4 medium), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- ½ cup dried currants or golden raisins
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet with a lid over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then stir in the sweet potatoes and ½ to ¾ teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat if the potatoes take on color too quickly. If the potatoes are browned but not yet soft, add ¼ cup water to the pan and cook until evaporated. Repeat as needed until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes total.
2. Add the spinach, gently tossing until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the currants, pine nuts, and balsamic and season with salt to taste.
Reprinted from Eat A Little Better. Copyright c 2018 by Sam Kass. Photographs copyright c 2017 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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