The potato is arguably one of our favourite vegetables, but have you ever thought about eating the leaves of a sweet potato plant?
Sweet potatoes are out in force across the city at the moment with the orange and white varieties pouring into the Slow Food Earth Market on Thursday, April 18 from 12.30pm until 5pm.
Backyard grower Felicia Nguyen, who is known for bringing Asian greens to the twice-monthly market, will be in the kitchen demonstrating how to use the leaves at 2pm.
She will be making sweet potato leaves in coconut milk and serving it with steamed rice.
The recipe involves using:
- 1 bunch of sweet potato leaves that are roughly chopped
- 1 cup of sweet potato cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1 finely chopped shallot, 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, five centimetres of finely chopped lemon grass, 1 finely chopped hot chilli
- Two cups of coconut milk and 1 cup of water
Ms Nguyen will heat oil in a pan over medium heat and then add the garlic, turmeric, shallots, chilli and lemongrass for 1 to 2 minutes.
She will then add the coconut milk, sweet potato and wait for it to boil, before reducing it to a low heat and simmering it for four minutes.
When the potatoes are tender she will add the sweet potato leaves and leave the dish to cook for two to three minutes.
The sugar and sat and pepper are then added to finish it.
Slow Food Earth Market Maitland chairwoman Amorelle Dempster said most people knew sweet potatoes were in season, but they had no idea the leaves were edible.
"At the moment we are seeing the orange and white varieties come onto the markets. The sweet potato leaves are edible. They cook up very quickly, and they have a starchy texture that is delicious," she said.
Most Asian and African communities know their value, but at the earth markets we are pleased to be able to offer another food source, grown locally that may have been overlooked.