With summer drawing to a close, I’ve found myself craving food with a little more comfort and nourishment to it, like this sweet potato and pecan puree. I think it’s because of how busy I’ve been this summer—when I started the year I really wanted to make a point to stay home all summer long and enjoy all that the northwest sunshine had to offer, but instead I ended up traveling and working quite a bit, while still taking part in a ton of summery Oregon activities, and I think trying to cram so much into such a short timeframe has left me feeling exhausted. I’ve been longing for those calm autumn days where the rain pelts your windows, you’re wrapped up in a thick sweater all comfy-like, and you don’t feel guilty about snuggling up inside and doing nothing but enjoying a hot cozy meal like this one. I’m hoping that by making this, I can lure autumn to start sooner. With all the wildfires that have been going on near my home, I’m definitely ready for the rainy season to begin.
While the sweet potatoes are tasty, my favorite element of this dish are the rich and buttery pecans. They’re toasted slightly before being pureed with the sweet potatoes, and their toasty, nutty and comforting flavor lends itself perfectly to the sweet silkiness of the roasted sweet potatoes. Pecans
contain a combination of protein, fiber and “good” monoun-saturated fats, which means they can helps you stay full longer. They’re also an excellent source of copper and manganese, which are essential for a functioning metabolism and bone health. And the majority of pecans for sale in the US are grown here in North America, so every time you cook with them you know you’re supporting American family farmers. Good for both your biological heart, and your emotional one!
I used some sage with the pecans and sweet potatoes because I find that it has the most wonderful autumn-esque herbal flavor to it, and I caramelized some onions and stirred those in at the end for some extra sweet-savory goodness. And a word of note on the pecans, they keep best if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator (they’ll keep up to 9 months this way), and you can also store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 years, and can thaw and re-freeze them several times without any negative effect on their taste or texture.
This post was made in partnership with the American Pecan Council, but all opinions expressed here are my own, per usual!