Thursday, February 14, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pears with Balsamic Drizzle

I admit it. This one's just for me. And for you, of course. Pull up a chair.

My kids won't tolerate anything orange and mushy. There's no meat here and sweet potatoes don't rank high in Mufasa's diabetes-fighting, low-carb diet. But, sometimes we need to do a little something for ourselves, yes?
Consider this. You're cooking for a group and needed to accommodate various food allergies and sensitivities. Simple roasted vegetables are a safe bet. Roasted sweet potatoes with pears and balsamic vinegar are not only super tasty and make the house smell like pie, but are also free of the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish) and gluten-free too!

And no pressure but one of these really seems to help the process along. Ignore the Jack Daniels glass. He's not invited to this party.
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour in an ounce of bourbon, an ounce of fresh lemon juice, top with good ginger beer (here's my fave) and garnish with a lemon wedge. Do it! Do it! Just saying. All it needs is a snappy name. Suggestions?

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pears with Balsamic Drizzle

2 or 3 sweet potatoes
2 large firm pears (I used Bartletts but the choice is yours. Cored, halved Seckels would be lovely)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Good quality, aged syrupy balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub the sweet potatoes and slice them into wedges about 1 & 1/2-inches thick leaving the skin intact. Put them on a sheet pan. Douse with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast about 20 minutes until they're starting to soften but not yet done.

While the potatoes roast, core, stem, and slice the pears into wedges about 1-inch thick. Add the pears to the sheet pan with the potatoes. Drizzle on the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss the pears and sweet potatoes gently. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes more until the sweet potatoes are done and the pears are tender. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with more salt and pepper and serve warm.

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