What’s for dinner?
I know. Loaded question! Despite such an interest in home cooking and food, I often find myself asking that question (um, every day) and feeling panicked about having nothing planned and nothing especially exciting to whip up when I get home from work or working out. And by then it’s already dark out… and I’m tired… and, wait, what do you think of wine and popcorn for dinner?
Not a bad call every now and then but there are only so many times I can or want to popcorn it for dinner.
I was lucky enough to meet Molly back in May. We were both in Miami for BlogHer Food (and both recently engaged at the time!) and I’ve been looking forward to this cookbook since she told me about it.
To celebrate Molly’s cookbook, I’m sharing her recipe for Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cannellini Beans and Baby Spinach and giving away a copy of her book. Baked sweet potatoes have been making the dinner rounds at my house but none have been as tasty or pretty as the one Molly led me to now.
I never thought to mix in capers with the bean filling but they add so much flavor, and raisins (or dried blueberries because I had them around) add a great touch of sweetness. A pile of greens is fluffed atop the potatoes at the end for a brief and final stint in the oven. The edges crisp slightly and it’s a full meal in a sweet potato. It’s what’s for dinner, and it’s excellent.
Here’s the thing about this cookbook — these recipes are truly satisfying and approachable. I was already a big fan of using my oven for more hands-off meals, especially on weeknights, and Sheet Pan Suppers is a collection of exactly those kind of recipes. On a post-Thanksgiving Monday with a dead car battery (ugh, right?) I was still able to put together a great dinner in a reasonable amount of time. That sheet pan supper you see peeking out behind a copy of Molly’s cookbook is her brilliant recipe for Roasted Sausage and Red Grapes with Polenta and Gorgonzola. (The flavors reminded us of another recipe we love.)
It’s a smart recipe that lets my sheet pan and the oven do the heavy lifting. I’ll also be taking Molly’s tip to occasionally swap in cherry tomatoes for the grapes or goat cheese for the Gorgonzola.
“This one’s a keeper,” Danny said. And he’s right. This recipe — this book! — is totally a keeper.
(So is Danny.)
The recipe for the loaded sweet potato is below. Molly has shared a couple other recipes from the book on her blog, including one today for Quick Chicken and Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce. I can’t wait to try that one!
You can buy Sheet Pan Suppers at a local bookstore or online:
I’m giving away a copy of Molly’s cookbook! Leave a comment below telling me your favorite weeknight dinner these days or your favorite sheet pan recipe to be entered for a chance to win a copy of Sheet Pan Suppers. Giveaway contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 12.
baked sweet potatoes with cannellini beans and baby spinach
I love these sweet potatoes because they’re delicious, filling, healthy, and so dang easy to put together. We often turn to baked sweet potatoes for dinner during the fall, and this is an excellent version. To make weeknight dinners even easier, the sweet potatoes can be roasted ahead of time and quickly reheated in the oven or microwave before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. For the greens, I used a mix of baby spinach and baby arugula, and when I’m out of cannellini beans I’ll make this with chickpeas. Recipe from Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert.
4 medium-size sweet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork
15 ounces (1 can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/4 cup golden raisins
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups packed fresh baby spinach and/or baby arugula
Heat oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Place the sweet potatoes on the prepared sheet pan and bake until soft enough to pierce easily with a paring knife, about 1 hour. Set aside the sheet pan to allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, stir together the beans, capers, raisins, lemon juice, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a medium bowl.
When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to split each one open lengthwise, taking care not to cut all the way through. (We’re going to fill them like loaded baked potatoes). Gently press the short ends of each potato together to expose the soft flesh and create a nice crater for the filling. Use the back of a spoon to smoosh the soft sweet potato center slightly to make room for the bean mixture.
Use a spoon to distribute the bean mixture among the potatoes. Toss the spinach with the remaining tablespoon olive oil in the same bowl you used for the beans. (The bowl will have some delicious “dressing” still clinging to it.)
Stuff a big handful of spinach (about 1 cup) inside and on top of each bean-filled potato (they’ll be overfilled and the spinach will overflow onto the baking sheet. That’s okay).
Return the sheet pan to the oven and bake the potatoes until the spinach has wilted and everything is warmed through, 5 to 10 minutes. Rearrange any wilted greens that fell off the potatoes back on top of the sweet potatoes. Serve the loaded potatoes hot from the oven.