With spring just down the road, you’ve likely already figured out the main dish for the feast accompanying whichever of the two big seasonal holidays ‚Äî Easter or Passover ‚Äî you celebrate. Leg of lamb and glazed ham are Easter favourites. Braised brisket or roast chicken land on many Passover tables. But no matter which way you roll, Shredded Sweet Potatoes with Dates and Pistachios is a tasty side dish that’s a great way to round out the menu.
The easy part of this recipe is that it takes just 5 minutes to cook on top of the stove. And because the oven is going to be hogged for hours by the main dish you’re roasting, on top of the stove is exactly where you want it to cook. But sweet potatoes are dense, you say. How can they become tender in 5 minutes? Well, it’s a snap when you shred them before putting them in the skillet.
Like many of us with a food processor, you might have long ago stashed the box it came in ‚Äî the one containing all the slicing and dicing blades ‚Äî on the top shelf of a closet. Now’s the time to pull it down, dust it off and pull out the grating disk. Then simply peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into chunks that fit into the processor’s feed tube and grate away. You’ll be done in about 5 minutes.
The pistachios contribute crunch ‚Äî and some complementary flavour ‚Äî to the sweet potatoes, but feel free to use your nut of choice. The dates contribute a nice jammy sweetness, but if you’re not a fan, just leave them out. Finally, if you prefer basil or cilantro to mint, by all means, swap them in. Before the meal is over, you may find this side dish earning a place nearer to the centre of the plate.
Shredded Sweet Potatoes with Dates and Pistachios
Start to finish: 30 minutes (20 active)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded, preferably using the grating disk of a food processor
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup toasted chopped pistachios
1/3 cup chopped dried dates
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint
In a large skillet cook the onion in the oil over medium heat, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and a hefty pinch of salt, increase the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook, stirring, occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, pistachios, dates, lemon juice and mint; add salt to taste.