This wonderful combination of creamy sweet potatoes, sweet coconut milk, and earthy green Swiss chard may seem — and taste — rich and decadent, but it is in fact quite healthy. Serve sweet potato casserole as a vegan or vegetarian main course, or as a side dish along side roast chicken.
Adapted from Faith Durand's "Not Your Mother's Casseroles."
- 2 pounds (4 medium or 3 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound Swiss chard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- One 14-ounce can coconut milk, well stirred
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the baking dish with olive oil. Layer half of the sweet potato rounds in the bottom of the dish, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper.
Prepare the Swiss chard by folding each leaf in half and cutting away the rib. Slice the ribs into ½-inch pieces and set aside. Stack the leaves up in several piles, and roll each pile into a tight cigar. Slice in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin ribbons.
In a very large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the sliced chard stems and cook for 5 minutes, or until the stems begin to soften. Turn up the heat, add the chard leaves, and cook, stirring frequently, until the leaves have wilted substantially. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Spread half of the greens mixture over the sweet potatoes in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, then pour half of the coconut milk over the top. Top with the remaining potato slices, and sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper. Top them with the remaining greens and coconut milk. Press down on the top layer to help submerge it below the coconut milk (at this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours).
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.