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Caribbean Sweet Potato Gratin (WF, GF, DF)

This is a full bodied main dish substantial enough for the heartiest appetite.

Thinly sliced sweet potatoes are a must; they'll cook properly and release enough starch to thicken and set the gratin.  Finely chopping the spinach like the ribbons of a chiffon cut helps disperse the flavour throughout.

Ingredients:

Potato dish:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and pressed
  • 2½ teaspoon lime rind, freshly grated
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2½ cups coconut milk
  • 4 cups sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1½ cups cooked black beans
  • 1½ cups fresh spinach rinsed, stemmed and finely chopped in ribbons

Topping:

  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  3. Combine the garlic, lime rind, lime juice, coriander, thyme, salt, pepper and coconut milk in a measuring cup.  Pour one third of the mixture into the prepared baking pan. 
  4. Layer half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom of the pan, topped by half of the rice, half of the black beans, and half the spinach.  Pour on another third of the coconut milk mixture and repeat the layers of sweet potato, rice, beans and spinach.  Pour the remaining coconut milk mixture over all.
  5. In a small bowl combine all of the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the gratin.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 60 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven after 30 minutes to ensure uniform baking.  When the potatoes are tender and the topping is crisp and golden brown, remove from the oven and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes until the potatoes absorb any remaining liquid.

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