I don’t like to mess with the Thanksgiving menu.
For this meal, I want the traditional family classics – mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, veggie casseroles, pumpkin pie – prepared exactly the same way, year after year after year.
If someone tries to the flip the script and switch up the spread, I’m the first to ask (in my loud attention please voice), “EXCUSE ME. HELLO. WHAT’S THAT? AND WHERE ARE THE SWEET POTATO BALLS?”
You can’t just go around disrupting tradition. Am I right?
What I do like, though, is messin’ with the appetizers.
I’ll happily unsubscribe from the typical cheese ball starter for something a little more exciting.
And, yes, that’s the perfect segue into this…
…Sweet Potato Chutney
Let’s talk chutney for a minute.
Landing somewhere between a jam, a jelly and a relish, chutney is a sauce-y Indian spread that can be a whole lotta thangs – think: sweet, savory, sour, tangy, nutty, fruity, herb-y, creamy, chunky – used to complement, balance or enhance a whole lotta dishes.
It can also be a holiday appetizer.
Here’s why I love chutney for the holidays:
It’s different. It’s flavorful. It’s easy to make (just choose your favorite fruit, veggie, herb – or combo of all three – then cook with vinegar, sugar and spices), which means more time for decorating and present wrapping.
It’s healthy. It’s adaptable. It meets everyone’s dietary restrictions (plant-based, gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, yaddi yaddi).
And it’s an exciting start for what’s to follow.
Sweet Potato Chutney
- 1 tablespoon of coconut (or avocado) oil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced small
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Heat coconut oil and red pepper flakes in a saucepan over medium low heat.
- Add shallots and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and Garam Masala and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Next, add the sweet potato and dried cranberries and lightly sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the vinegar, maple syrup, water and sea salt and stir well to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 20 minutes – stirring occasionally – until chutney is thick and potatoes are tender and cooked through.
- If the mixture is watery, increase the heat, uncover and burn off the liquid until very thick and goopy.
- Add the lemon zest, stir and cook 5 minutes more.
- Roughly mash some of the chutney with a fork or potato masher to desired consistency.
- Place chutney in a mason jar and serve or cover and store in the fridge.
Then go ahead and disrupt tradition.
P.S. In case you’re wondering…I like to serve my chutney with Kite Hill Cream Cheese on RW Garcia Sweet Potato Crackers. And no, it’s not too sweet potato-y. If that’s even a thing?!
P.P.S. Don’t forget to let me know how you like this recipe!