October 27, 2008

seasonal abundance (moroccan sweet potatoes)

So, here I go again, you will say, harping on the importance of eating seasonally and locally. I will never stop preaching this, just like I won't stop trying to help people "see the light" about the upcoming election. Like today, when I lectured the cable guy on the urgency of voting for change and eventually got him to agree to leave my house and go vote for Obama! A minor victory, but still.

My countertops are filled with the bounty of fall and I love it. Our farmer has been coming through with even better stuff than I thought possible this season. Like the beautiful little sweet potatoes that I turned into this dish: Moroccan spiced sweet potatoes (adapted from Alice Waters) that we loved.

Or the big, dark green chard I used in this dish of chick peas, tomotoes and chard.

Both were equally delicious and while they could have served as perfect side dishes to something more substantial, I didn't have to serve then with anything so I didn't. We just ate them on their own with some spicy red wine on a cool autumn evening. No meat necessary, but a nice roasted chicken would have been the perfect thing. Come to think of it, because of the abundance of beautiful local greens, squash, potatoes and other veggies, we haven't eaten meat in over a week!

We probably had something with apples for dessert as they too are overflowing onto my kitchen counters. Apple sauce, apple cake, apple pie, you name it. It's all in the name of eating seasonally. And if you weren't sure that this was good for your health, read this article a friend sent to me today on the surprising benefits of eating seasonally.

Moroccan sweet potato salad (from A. Waters' The Art of Simple Food)

Peel about 1 lb of sweet potatoes and cut into large cubes.
Toss with olive oil and salt and roast on baking dish in 375 degree oven. When done, remove and let cool.
Whisk together:
a pinch of saffron threads, 1/2 tsp. of grated fresh ginger, a pinch of cumin, 1 tsp. of paprika, salt, 2 tblsp fresh lemon juice, 3 tblsp extra virgin o. oil.

Stir in:
2 tblsp of chopped cilantro or parsley

Spoon the marinade over the lukewarm sweet potatoes and let sit for 30 min. Serve at room temperature.


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