I found that the most efficient way to deal with the abundance of produce each week was to preserve whatever preserved easiest, so more often than not, each week's potatoes and onions were put in the dark. My stockpile of sweet potatoes and shallots finally met the light of day on Thanksgiving morning as Jason and I created a smash for our vegan dinner with friends later that night.
While pulling the recipe together, my only objective was to stear clear of the traditional sugary and sticky sweet potato recipes. One of the most valuable lessons eating locally has taught me, is that simply is the very best way to cook and enjoy vegetables. Local food just tastes better; there's little reason to doctor it up with loads of other ingredients. Think I'm overstating? Do a test of your own. A bite of local sweet potato vs. a bite of store-bought sweet potato. No contest. Be sure to note the incredible color difference while you're at it, too!
Additionally, always considering a local vegan diet when preparing meals, things like marshmallows and white sugar don't please either side. In avoiding a lot of ingredients, shallots and thyme seemed like a great way to impart a bit of simple savory loveliness into our dish.
Savory Smashed Sweet PotatoesOn top of being delicious, the simple ingredients mean super quick preparation. We had this in a serving dish and packed up in under 30 minutes. Maybe I should have started this post with "Local vegan for Thanksgiving: so good, so fast and so easy!"
4 pounds of sweet potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled and quartered (Blooming Glen Farm CSA crop share - 5 miles)
1/4 pound of shallots, chopped (Blooming Glen)
1 tablespoon dried thyme, crushed (Blooming Glen)
1 tablespoon olive oil (not local)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (not local)
1/2 cup soy milk (from Westsoy - 91 miles)
1/4 cup vegan buttery spread (from Earth Balance - 117 miles)
Add sweet potatoes to boiling stockpot and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. While the potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallots and thyme to the oil and cook five minutes or until soft and fragrant. Drain potatoes, score skins (so they don't get caught in your masher) and smash. Stir in two-thirds of the shallot mixture, soy milk and Earth Balance. Serve with shallots and thyme mixture sprinkled on top.
> Cross-posted at www.farmtophilly.com.