Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweet! Potato Leaves!

See how important punctuation is?  Suppose I'd done the blog entry title the way I should have...

Sweet Potato Leaves!

Quite a difference.  Though, of course, not as much as "Let's eat Grandma" versus "Let's eat, Grandma."

Or my favorite.

"Woman, without her, man is nothing." versus "Woman without her man, is nothing."

Anyway.  Focus.

A few weeks ago, while I was on a break from school, the fam and I traveled to Kansas City for a little two-day getaway.  While there, Brent took us to the City Market in downtown KC, and there were numerous stalls that sold all kinds of crazy things...but one item I kept seeing over and over again were sweet potato leaves.  For sale.  For eating.  Weird, right?

As it turns out, no.  Not to African and Asian people, anyway.  And after checking out sweet potato leaf nutritional data at nutritiondata.self.com, it shouldn't be weird to us either.  We should be getting in on that action, but unfortunately, sweet potato leaves aren't exactly speeding off the shelves at the local grocery store (probably because they aren't even available).

Until today, when Brent decided to "harvest" some of our sweet potato crop....

Naturally, you'll see here (as Brent did during the harvest...that these sweet potatoes are nowhere near a desirable size for consumption.

And while these poor tubers sat in their plastic containers, all naked and such, I remembered that I'd seen them at the market in Kansas City.  Which led me to the Google and a food blog at Epicurious, which included methods of cooking, including braising and steaming or any other method in which you'd cook similar greens like kale or spinach.


And that's how I turned the top picture into the bottom picture.

The potatoes were crisper drawer hangouts as was the red onion.  The zucchini was a produce gift from a loyal customer.  I added the spice and olive oil to steep in a skillet while I parboiled the potatoes (about 15ish minutes).

Then, getting the skillet hot, I added the onions and let them cook for about five minutes before adding the cooked potatoes and zucchini.  I threw in the sweet potato leaves in at the very end. 
And yep, as shown in the hodge-podge photo here, the leaves cooked down like spinach or kale or chard.  But...without the slight bitterness or strong flavors that accompany those vegetables.

I mean, honestly, can you even see the leaves?  Look closely, down near the bottom of the bowl and maybe even around the spoon in the bottom right corner.  It doesn't matter...the nutritional, leafy goodness is still right there.  And I feel pretty damn good at knowing I'm not wasting any of the plant.  Makes me feel a little like I'm on the Oregon Trail.


  1. I had no idea! And yes, you are totally like the pioneers on the Oregon Trail ... minus the dysentery.

  2. And the Low Group Morale and Jimmy Dying of Snakebite!