Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thinking Green and Hoping for Spring!

Maybe it's a reflection of the wishful thinking on our part as we hope for Spring to finally be sprung upon us in NoVA, but we've got lots of green coming your way in this week's Crop Share!  You'll find broccoli, leaf lettuce, and granny smith apples, along with sweet potatoes (JOY!), baby portabellas, and honey tangerines, to help brighten up your Easter or Passover table. So let's all cross our fingers, toes and if you practice yoga, cross as many body parts as you can, in hopes that the start of a new month will bring us a true start to Spring!

Speaking of new things, I wanted to introduce myself to you all as your new, resident foodie for the Crop Share Recipe Blog.  I'm Tara, and some of you may have already "met" me in the Fall through some of my guest posts (yes, the Irish girl with all the potato recipes).  So please, please, please, don't be shy, use that comments button below and let us know how the recipes work for you, if there's certain types of recipes you'd like to see featured, or even wax poetic about your love for asparagus!  Additionally, we're dying to know what's cooking in your kitchen, so feel free to send us any guest recipe posts or photos of your delicious creations at, so we can feature you!

So to get you started for the holiday weekend, here is one of my all-time favorite sweet potato recipes that will make a perfect side dish for your Easter table, and with the substitution of matzo meal or almond flour, it's also easily made kosher for Passover...

Sweet Potato Maple Streusel 

3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 cup water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour (or alternative flour of your choice)
1/2 cup maple sugar (if you can't find maple sugar, substitute any large granulated sugar, or add some drops of maple extract to your sugar and mix well)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9x13" baking dish.  Peel sweet potatoes, reserving 1 inch pieces of ends for use in the streusel topping.  Coarsely grate these reserved pieces until you have 1/2 cup of gratings; set aside for later use.  Cut the rest of the sweet potatoes into 1/3 inch thick rounds, and arrange them in overlapping rows in your baking dish.

In a small saucepan, bring water, maple syrup, butter and cider vinegar to a light boil, stir in your salt & pepper, and pour mixture over sweet potatoes.  Cover the dish tightly with foil.  These can be made up to 6 hours in advance and refrigerated  just make sure you let them warm up to room temperature for about an hour before baking.  When ready, bake covered at 375 for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your streusel topping.  Mix your flour, sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add the melted 6 Tbsp of butter and using your fingers, rub it in until the mixture begins to form clumps.  Mix in your reserved 1/2 cup of grated sweet potato, until it looks like you might be making some sort of deranged, delicious cookie.

When sweet potatoes have baked for 40 minutes, remove from oven, increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees, and top sweet potatoes with the streusel mixture.  Return to oven and bake uncovered at 400 for an additional 35 minutes until streusel is golden and crisp (okay, just like a cookie).  Prepare for sweet potato bliss!

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