It’s common knowledge these days that we should eat mostly vegetables and smaller portions of animal protein. For those of us who eat meat, it is helpful to designate (at least) one day a week that can be reserved for vegetarian fare, to ensure that we are eating more vegetables. Because, let’s face it: Old habits are hard to break. Especially when it’s winter, and we’re craving comfort foods, which for a large number of us means meat, not vegetables.
The zealots don’t need the help. They’ve figured out a more enlightened existence in which an all-vegetal diet is the norm. No, Meatless Mondays is not really for them; it’s for those who crave steak on a cold winter night. Like me.
I admit it. This Monday I am craving a big meaty steak. But just like the rest of us who are trying to eat better at least once a week, I’m not hopeless. Instead of breaking down and searing a steak topped with fresh horseradish and dill, I've roasted whole sweet potatoes and topped them with those familiar flavors. It does the trick. Roasted sweet potatoes have an unctuous and satisfying mouth-feel. They are terrifically tender yet hold their shape in an almost meaty way. The horseradish topping rounds out their sweetness with just enough bite. The next time you’re feeling the pull of a steak on a cold winter night, give this a try and know that you are doing something, even if it’s a small thing, that is good for you and the rest of the world.
Roasted Sweet Potato Steaks With Horseradish-Dill Topping
4 large sweet potatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish (or prepared horseradish)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, then wrap in aluminum foil with a sprinkle of salt. Roast the potatoes on the oven rack until they are very tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Unwrap, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Gently peel the skins, and place the whole potatoes on a serving platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Stir together the horseradish, dill, parsley leaves, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Scatter the topping over the sweet potatoes and serve.