Sweet Potato Lasagna | Nik Snacks ~ Nik Snacks

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On 9:48 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , , ,    1 comment
I love sweet potatoes. And sweet potato lasagna is a personal love letter to my favorite vegetable.

Did you know that North Carolina is the top producer of sweet potatoes in North America? Louisiana is a close second.

We  in North Carolina hold these vegetables near and dear. Sweet potatoes are our official state vegetable. Examples of types grown here are: Beauregard, Carolina Rose, Carolina Ruby, Cordner, Hernandez, and Jewel. But the most coveted sweet potato is the Covington sweet potato.

It's the traditional orange sweet potato with copper and rose-colored skin with sweet, smooth, bright orange flesh. It's the beauty queen of the parade. It's what grocers want in their stores and little known fact: the emoji is based on the Covington shape 🍠

We even have a Sweet Potato Festival to commemorate and celebrate this native crop. Winston-Salem has an award-winning, culinary mecca called Sweet Potatoes (Well shut my mouth!!) that leaves everyone hankering for Southern cuisine for days afterward.

Savory or sweet, I could eat them any day. I am not too keen on adding marshmallows, brown sugar and making a dessert of them, but I am all about adding them to soups, stews, boiling vats of hot oil and microwaves with fork holes poked in them.

I. Love. Them.

When shopping for sweet potatoes, select firm potatoes with smooth skin. Three medium potatoes roughly equal one pound. One pound of sweet potatoes is about 1 1/4 cups mashed.

It's time for me to reveal a recipe that I normally never give out. I first made this dish years ago trying to create something fancy for dinner. It was SO GOOD that my mother's best friend ate it cold from the fridge right out of the pan. Sweet Potato lasagna is indeed my signature dish.

Technically, it's a sweet potato casserole (I suppose), but if you say casserole, no one is impressed. Casserole = shit I put together in a dish and baked it.
Lasagna = composed dish with layers, flavor and complexity.

Am I right?

Sweet Potato Lasagna
Yield: 10 servings (as a side)
Serves 6 (as a main)

2 lb Sweet potatoes, washed, unpeeled, sliced thin (3/16", no more than 1/4")
2 large eggs
16 oz ricotta cheese, skim
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
6 oz fresh or frozen spinach or kale
1 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp nutmeg, ground
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375° F and spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix eggs with the ricotta, Parmesan and red pepper flakes, spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

3. Place a layer of potato slices on the bottom of the baking dish. Take care to put like-sized pieces adjacent to each other. If need be, slice the rounds in half to fill small gaps and spaces in between pieces.

4. Alternate layers of potatoes, spinach and cheese mixture until all ingredients are used up--you should end up with a top layer of potatoes. Lastly, sprinkle all the cheddar cheese on top.

5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 55 minutes. The bottom layer of potatoes with be soft and the top layer will be a bit firmer. If you prefer a softer layers, bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or cover during intial baking with foil, uncover the last 10 minutres to brown the top. Let rest for 15 minutes so the vegetable juices can redistribute.

Okay. Enough talking. I'm hungry.

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