Sweet Potatoes with Apple and Bacon

    While sweet potatoes are native to the New World, provide farmers with a cost-efficient crop, have been part of the American diet for hundreds of years, are full of nutrients and taste really good, most of us only eat them covered with marshmallows at Thanksgiving. We can do better.

    With a handful of easy-to-find ingredients, a bit of chopping, and about 30 minutes, you can make this simple and delicious one-skillet dish. And while some of us might call them yams, all of those orange-fleshed tubers are really sweet potatoes. Garnets and Jewels, the two orange varieties, are indistinguishable once cooked, so you can use either one. Peeling is optional.

    3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

    2 apples, cored and chopped

    1/4 pound bacon, chopped

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    ½ cup water, divided

    2 cloves garlic, chopped

    1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    Salt and black pepper to taste

    Cook the bacon in the extra virgin olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until browned; remove from pan and set aside.

    Add the sweet potatoes, a pinch of salt, and half of the water to the same pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the water and continue cooking until the sweet potatoes begin to brown and get soft, about 10 more minutes. The water will cook off, but the steam it creates helps cook the potatoes.

    Test the sweet potatoes with a fork to make sure they’re cooked through, then add the garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add the apples, rosemary and vinegar, reduce the heat, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples soften. Remove from the heat, stir in the reserved bacon, taste and add salt if needed. Makes 4-6 servings.

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