This rich sweet potato purée is a perfect side dish or comfort food for the coming fall and winter days. Plenty of fresh sweet potatoes and sage available from the farm so go ahead and add them to your order for next week's CSA share. INGREDIENTS
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
Grapeseed, olive or sunflower oil
Leaves from 1 small bunch sage
1 thyme or lemon thyme sprig
¼ cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces grated Gruyère, Cheddar or Emmentaler cheese
5 ounces Saint-Nectaire or Tomme de Savoie cheese, rind removed, cubed (you can also use fontina or mozzarella in place of these)
In a medium pot, cover the potatoes and a generous amount of salt with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain but don’t wash out the pot. (You’ll need it again later.)
Meanwhile, fry the sage leaves: Line a plate with a paper towel. In a small skillet, heat 1/4-inch of oil. Add sage leaves a few at a time, and fry until golden and crisp, usually about 1 minute or so. Use a slotted spoon to transfer fried leaves to the paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining sage leaves, adding more oil to the pan if needed. In a small pot over medium heat, add the thyme and cream, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and cover until needed.
Transfer the cooked potatoes to a food processor, and pulse just until mashed. Or pass potatoes through a food mill or large-holed sieve to mash.Return potatoes to their cooking pot and set it over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in butter, garlic and nutmeg until the butter melts.
Remove thyme sprig from the cream. Stir the cream into the potatoes, then stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, until melted and stringy. Serve immediately, topped with the fried sage leaves.
Recipe from NYT Cooking.