In this case, we met a vegetable we'd never even heard of.
Of course it stands to reason that sweet potatoes would have greens. We mean, something's got to come out of the ground, right? But it never occurred to us that they'd be something you'd want to eat.
And we really never thought they'd turn out to be so delicious.
When faced with a new vegetable or leafy green, we've adopted a pretty standard operating procedure: Heat some fat (butter, oil, bacon grease) in a pan and soften a diced onion. Throw in the vegetable and sauté until it's ready to eat. Toss in some salt and pepper.
Most of the time, that'll get you 90% of the way there. Then you just decide what extra flavor you want to add (something spicy, like Sriracha? or savory, like soy sauce?) to complement the vegetable in question.
In this case, we wanted to play up the subtle sweetness of the greens, so we stirred in a little maple syrup.
The result was fab: The greens were fresh yet earthy, with a hint of sweetness. A perfect side dish for an early fall meal!
So how do you get your hands on some sweet potato greens? We have no idea! Try a farmers market. If you're in a CSA -- or friends with a farmer -- you should ask them. Or maybe if enough people ask Whole Foods...
Anyway, if you can find some, don't pass them up. They may be the best new thing you discover this fall!
Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
A Bitten Word Recipe
1 large bunch sweet potato greens (about half a pound)
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
Remove sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
Heat olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
Add stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve.