Sweet potato and peanut gratin

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So two days ago Rory was wearing his snow suit and today was even hotter than yesterday – we had to buy a sun hat especially! We got going early to the park which is always a nice time of day to go as it’s a little quieter and shady. Afterwards we went to music class and caught up with friends, Rory was incredibly excited and danced madly to Abba! Who knew?! After a stroll and catch up with the gorgeous Christine, Gracie and Mason, we headed home for lunch. Whilst Rory napped I decided to prepare supper. I didn’t have a lot of inspiration or food. In fact the main ingredient needed to be sweet potato. Luckily Lucy had lent me her River Cottage Veg Everyday cookery book and I found a yummy looking recipe for sweet potato and peanut gratin and decided to make that to serve with a crispy green salad. In the afternoon we headed to the park where Rory made a bee line for the sandpit (which was obviously packed). Even though we had brought our bucket and spade, he fell in love with a little boy’s dump truck and the bucket and spade suddenly wouldn’t cut it. Luckily they played together very nicely, filling it with sand and dumping it out. We were later joined by Lucy and Teddy, Catherine and Oscar and Lora, Oliver and Maeve who have just returned from their fabulous holiday in Hawaii. When we got home we had a lovely surprise card and stickers from Annsley. It was a sweet little note saying how much she loves looking after Rory on a Thursday afternoon and how much he’d grown since she started looking after him. I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

PS The gratin was SO yummy!

Sweet potato and peanut gratin

About 1kg sweet potatoes
2 tbsp sunflower oil, plus a little more for greasing
1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped, or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250ml double cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g crunchy, no-sugar-added peanut butter (I used almond butter)
Finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus about 2 tsp juice

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5 and lightly oil a large gratin dish.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into slices about as thick as a 10p piece. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with a tablespoon of oil, the chilli, garlic, cream and some salt and pepper. Arrange half the sweet potato slices in the gratin dish, spreading them out with your fingertips – you do not have to layer them piece by piece, but try to ensure they are mostly lying flat.

Beat the peanut butter with the remaining tablespoon of oil, the lime zest and juice. Spread this mixture in dollops over the sweet potato in the dish. Add the remaining sweet potato and spread out. Pour over any cream remaining in the bowl.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil. Bake for a further 30 minutes or so, until the sweet potato is completely tender and the top is browned and crisp. For extra crispness, finish under the grill for a couple of minutes, but watch carefully. Serve piping hot with a crisp, bitter salad to balance the gratin’s sweet richness.

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