Sweet Potatoes with Asparagus
When I was growing up, sweet potatoes and yams were not a household vegetable by any means. I think the first time I ever had a sweet potato was when I was 25 and I was visiting my sister over the holidays. She served candied sweet potatoes (yams) and I found them extremely mushy and sweet. I don’t think I ate them again until just a few years ago. They were okay but still not my favorite. In the past year it seems that we eat sweet potatoes more and more frequently, probably more frequently then regular potatoes. Baked sweet potatoes with asparagus is a savory satisfying meal topped with baked eggs and full of nutrition.
I still get very confused with sweet potatoes and yams. Do you know the difference? I once asked the produce manager at our local grocery store and he told me they were the same thing. He was wrong their not.
Sweet potatoes are yellow or orange elongated tubers that taper to a point. Darker skinned sweet potatoes is what many people call “yams” in error. It has a thick, dark orange to reddish skin with a vivid orange, sweet flesh and moist texture. In contrast a true ‘yam’ is brown or black skin which resembles the bark of a tree and off-white, purple or red flesh, depending on the variety. Yams are generally sweeter than than the sweet potato and can grow over seven feet in length. A yam is the tuber of a tropical vine and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato.
To prepare this dish I started out by chopping the red onion and red pepper and then sauteing them in a medium high heated skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. I added the fresh herbs; Rosemarry, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, salt and pepper. I let everything cook until the onion and red pepper had softened and then added the chopped sweet potato to the skillet with a bit more oil to the pan. I let them cook while stirring occasionally until they started to brown a bit.
I removed them from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then I stirred in 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and transferred everything to a oven safe casserole dish.
I washed and prepared the asparagus by breaking the spears about 3 – 4 inches from the top. I don’t want the chewy end parts so I snap them in half. Then I add them to the casserole with 1/2 c vegetable broth.
I cover the baked sweet potato casserole and place it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. (until the asparagus is almost tender) Then I take it out and add the eggs while being sure to crack and add them gently in order to not disturbing the yolk. I cover the casserole again and put it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes to allow the eggs to bake.
Serve immediately while hot and enjoy.
- 1/2 Red Onion, diced
- 1/2 Red Pepper, diced
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh Rosemary, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh Sage, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh Oregano, minced
- 1 Tsp fresh Thyme
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 3 medium size Sweet Potatoes
- 1/2 c shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 10 stalks Asparagus
- 1/2 c Vegetable Broth
- 4 Eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Add Olive oil to skillet and heat on medium. Add onions and saute until soft then add red pepper and continue sauteing until soft and onions are translucent. Add Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Salt and Pepper.
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes and add them to the skillet. Stir to mix with rest of the ingredients. Cook uncovered until sweet potatoes soften and start to brown a bit. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes then stir in shredded cheese and transfer to a baking dish or casserole.
- Wash asparagus and trim 4 inches from top of spear. Put asparagus in casserole with sweet potatoes and add Vegetable Broth.
- Cover and let bake 35 minutes until Asparagus is almost tender but still under cooked (don't overcook asparagus or it comes out stringy and mushy)
- Take out of oven and add the eggs. Be careful not to break the yolk. Cover and return to the oven for 5- 10 minutes until eggs are cooked but the yolks are still soft.