Sometimes inspiration for dinner is about coming up with the whole thing – you know, the main event – like a tasty pasta dish or a one-pot marvel or a slow cooker spectacle (if such things exist?!) But there are also times when you’ve already got a place to start – it may be some sausages or a fillet of fish or a steak ready to grill – and you need a couple of easy side dishes to turn what you have into dinner.
This Sweet Potato Mash is one of my favourites and it has SO much going for it. Obviously there’s a lot of sweetness coming from the potato, but I like to balance it with the floral notes of the rosemary and a bit of a kick from the chilli and the garlic too.
And here’s why I think this might be your new favourite side dish too –
- It’s a real looker – That orange with the little specks of red from the chilli and a smattering of green from the rosemary. Gorgeous.
- It’s a taste sensation – Need I say more.
- It’s super easy to make – Peel the potatoes and boil them until they’re soft and mashable. Then in a separate small pan gently toast the garlic, chilli and rosemary in some olive oil and just combine the two, mashing everything together.
- It looks fancy enough for company – Do you agree?
- It freezes like a dream – I’m always very unconvinced about frozen mashed potato (that’s the regular kind), as it seems to go watery and a bit grey. But this Sweet Potato Mash handles the freezing really well. In our previous life in the UK where we ran a catering business, this was one of the most popular side dishes in our range of frozen ready meals. Can’t say fairer than that.
- It reheats beautifully too.
- AND it’s super healthy – Plenty of vitamins from the sweet potato and a good dose of healthy fats from the olive oil.
As I’m looking at these photos, I’m also thinking that there is a Christmassy feel to this Sweet Potato Mash. But that’s a conversation for another day …
- 1.3kg (3lb) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium red chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- Boil a large pan of water and salt it well. Now tip in the prepared sweet potatoes and boil until a sharp knife inserts easily into the pieces - mine took 10 minutes. They need to be soft enough to mash. Turn off the heat and leave the potatoes sitting in the hot water until you have completed step 2.
- While the potatoes are cooking, add the olive oil to a small pan and heat gently. When the oil is getting hot, add the garlic, chillies and the rosemary and stir well. It's REALLY IMPORTANT that you don't walk away from the pan here as this will burn very quickly. Keep stirring over the heat until the garlic is golden and then take it off the heat.
- Quickly drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Tip everything (including the oil) into the drained sweet potatoes and mash well. Check for seasoning and serve.