Purée de patates douces

Sweet potato purée

Beloved by Americans, sweet potatoes are a relatively recent addition to the French culinary repertoire. This simple recipe makes a purée that may be served as a side dish or as the centerpiece of a vegetarian meal. As sweet potatoes are now available year round, this dish may be served in any season — but it is perhaps best in the autumn.

1 pound (500 g.) sweet potatoes
2 tsp. sea salt or table salt
1 tbsp. butter
freshly ground black pepper

Peel the sweet potatoes and remove any dark spots. Slice into thumb-width rounds.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt. Add the sweet potatoes. Cook until very tender, 20-30 minutes.

Tip the potatoes into a colander. Drain very thoroughly.

Place the potatoes in a clean pot. Mash with a fork. Add the butter and stir to blend. Grind in some black pepper. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Reheat gently. Serves 2-3.

For more zing, add a crushed cayenne pepper to the potatoes. Or you can add some chopped fresh herbs just before serving — dill, cilantro or parsley.

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