When I saw the plastic packets of tightly-packed, plump, red-skinned American sweet potatoes in my Italian supermarket I stopped my shopping cart so suddenly that the wheels nearly dug into the white linoleum tiles. I greedily began to shove the shiny packages of three-potatoes-each in my shopping cart with an enthusiasm that slightly startled, and then piqued the interest of, the Italian shoppers around me. The plastic wrap squeaked as I stacked two, three, four packs. Should I get a fifth? “Put the sweet potatoes down!” My husband commanded, pausing after each word for emphasis, and pulling me back from the glorious sweet potato display.
I hadn’t seen a “real” American Sweet Potato outside of America since I moved to Europe 8 years ago. The labels on the package said the country of origin was the U.S. so these plump beauties traveled many miles to hop into my pressure cooker.
Sure, Italian farmer’s markets sell Patate Americane but these are actually white-fleshed yams imported from Africa. The yams are pleasantly sweet and fibrous but when cooked they turn into a very unappetizing color. I’ll never live-down the light gray sweet potato pie I made a few Thanksgivings ago. Everyone, even the kids, refused to eat it. The taste was right but the color was sooo wrong.
Sweet potatoes vary in size, width and length but they’re all fat in the middle and skinny at the ends so I recommend slicing these potatoes in half to ensure they cook evenly.
I used Martha Rose Shulman’s (no pressure) black-eyed pea recipe as a jumping-off point for potato toppers and then went my own direction. I felt that sweet and spicy would be good, but adding a little “tart” would make it better.
The Shulman-inspired black-eyed peas boil in the base of the pressure cooker, while their cooking liquid steams the potatoes above – making this a delicious and healthy one pot meal!
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||steamer basket||10-12 min.||High(2)||10-min. Natural|
- Serves: Serves 4
- Serving size: ¼th
- Calories: 273.6
- TOTAL Fat: 6.3g
- TOTAL Carbs: 48.5g
- Sugar Carbs: 14.4g
- Sodium: 407.8mg
- Fiber Carbs: 9.8g
- Protein: 8.2g
- Cholesterol: 4.0mg
- 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, sliced in half length-wise
- 6-8 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt- or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup (180g) black-eyed peas, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (double or triple concentrate)
- 1½ cups (375ml) water
- 1 tablespoon harissa - or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 4.5 oz (125g) fresh spinach or baby spinach (about two cups)
- Pile the potatoes in the steamer basket as shown (cut-face up, side-to-side) in criss-cross layers.
- In the pre-heated pressure cooker base add all of the spice seeds and toast them for about 30 seconds.
- Add a swirl of olive oil and onion to saute' until soft. Then, add the garlic cloves and saute them for about a minute.
- Add the black-eyed peas, tomato paste and water. If no one in your household is sensitive to spicy foods, add the Harissa, too. Otherwise, wait to mix the Harissa in until after everything's pressure cooked and you've separated out the amount for the sensitive eater.
- Mix the contents of the base well, and lower the steamer basket, or trivet and steamer basket, right on top of the black-eyed pea mixture.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
Electric pressure cookers: Punch-in 12 minutes pressure cooking time at high pressure.
Stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it. Then, begin counting 10 minutes cooking time.
- When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the 10-Minute Natural release method - wait 10 minutes for the pressure to release naturally. If after that time the cooker is still maintaining pressure (which is usually the case for Electric pressure cookers), release it slowly using the valve.
- Remove the steamer basket and divide the potatoes between dishes.
- Toss in the spinach and salt into the piping-hot pressure cooker base and mix a few times wilt using the residual heat of the beans.
- Add Harissa, if you haven't already.
- Serve at least two potato halves per person with a plop of plain yogurt and a generous mound of black-eyed peas.