lunch special: sweet potato leaves

September 13th, 2011

A few weeks ago my intern Ellen and I took a trip to the Union Square greenmarket to get a little inspiration for the next issue of Remedy Quarterly. We spend time just poking along each booth, seeing what was hanging on by a thread to summer (strawberries!!) and what Fall had in store (lots of apples!). I spied a bundle of beautifully smooth, deep green leaves and was surprised when I saw they were sweet potato leaves. I’d never heard of cooking with sweet potato leaves, but lucky for me, the kind vendors told me what to do. Of course I left with a bouquet of the green beauties.

We came back to my apartment and cooked up a tasty lunch of pizza with caramelized onions, purple peppers and goat cheese (yum!!) and a side of sweet potato greens. The greens were simply sautéed in a tiny bit of oil with garlic and peppers. Their flavor is fairly mild—perhaps similar to spinach but not as strong as kale. They were so easy and a perfect side for lunch… if you see some, try them!

sautéed sweet potato leaves
makes two large servings

1 large handful of sweet potato leaves, cut into thirds, lenthwise
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 mild pepper, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a large sautée pan over medium-high heat.

Add the pepper, garlic and leaves. Sautée until the leaves begin to wilt, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Comments: 10 Total

  1. Gretchen @

    September 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Sweet potato leaves–that’s new to me too! I’ll try them if I see them at my farmer’s market. Love the description of the pizza too.

  2. Stephanie

    September 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

    sweet potato leaves- yum! my csa introduced me to another tasty new green this week- brussels sprout tops. their texture was somewhere between collards and kale, and the flavor like a very mild brussels sprout. steamed them and ate with polenta- it was delightful!

  3. Anne Zimmerman

    September 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    One — you have an intern?!
    Two — When I read sweet potato leaves, I thought little leaves cut from sliced sweet potato, which would be a pretty sweet idea too!

  4. cheryl

    September 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    wow! i’ve never seen an actual recipe blogged for yam tops!
    i’m filipino and my dad grew kangkong/kamote tops in our backyard for years. my mom likes to throw them into clear broth soups (as a spinach alternative) or makes an adobo out of them (sauteeing them in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic).
    very cool! :)

  5. kelly

    September 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    ha! yes, i have an intern for Remedy.

    i love hearing about other ways they’ve been used. i’d never heard of using them before seeing them at the market… i love the idea of making adobo out of them!

  6. tracy@chinesefood

    September 16, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Your photo collection looks great, and I read your description, feel sweet potato leaves very good, can reduce the calories, before look at your article, have not cook the sweet potato leaves, would love to try to do it.

  7. kate

    September 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Funny, there was a little thing in NY magazine about these showing at up NY farmers markets lately and I was intrigued. I wonder if I can find them here, I love finding new types of greens to try.

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