How Sweet It Is Sweet Potato Lasagne
Category: Main Dishes | Blog URL: http://experimentalculinarypursuits.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/how-sweet-it-is-sweet-potato-lasagne/
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
Photo: Shelly Huang
When I was a child, I loved to listen to my grandmother tell me magical stories of historical Taiwan. As she cooked my favorite breakfast meal – sweet potato congee - she would recall the days during the Japanese Occupation, when food was scarce and they had to survive on a diet of sweet potatoes and rice. Though times were tough, the picture she conjured was full of warmth, families roasting these orange wonders by the bonfire while children ran around chasing fireflies. While the sweet potato congee simmered, she would make the little side dishes to complete that heavenly breakfast – sauteed spinach with black mushrooms, asian eggplant with basil, and egg omelette with soy sauce, brown sugar, and pickled radish.
With the craziness of work and life, I haven’t been able to see my grandparents in almost 2 years and I miss them dearly. So I made this sweet potato dish in my moment of nostalgia, taking inspiration from all the yummy Taiwanese dishes that nourished my little tummy, but putting a westernized spin by layering it into a sweet potato lasagne, and infusing with culturally diverse flavors.
The eggplant was marinated in a blend of olive oil and Italian herbs, the spinach and portabello mushrooms tossed with heavy cream and Mexican cheeses, and the sweet potatoes dipped in dry curry powder. You may think with the mish-mosh of herbs and flavors that it’s a crazy dish, but trust me, it works perfectly! The result is a burst of complementary flavors that tastes as familiar as my grandma’s love, but with an exotic twist that ventures into a new territories. I just wish I could cook this for her someday soon!