I’m all for simple side dishes that compliment the protein, yet leave you wanting a second helping. Few things fit those criteria as well as these Sauteed Apples & Sweet Potatoes. I first made this side dish to accompany the Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin when I had three hungry guys to feed. These two items, plus some roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, left them stuffed but still licking their plates.
All you need is a large sweet potato (and by sweet potato, I mean yam), 2 med-large apples, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt and a handful of walnuts. That’s it. Simple, right?
Peel the sweet potato and cube into bite-sized chunks. I peel the apples as well for textural consistency, but it’s your choice. Dice them so they are the same size as the sweet potatoes. We want everything to cook evenly.
Add the butter to a preheated pan, when it’s almost melted add only the sweet potatoes and salt. They need to go for about 10 minutes on their own. I keep the temp on the hot side of medium. We’re not trying to brown these like home-fries, for example. We want to gently warm them, draw out the sugars, slowly soften and caramelize. While all that is happening, chop your walnuts. My handful gave me just shy of a half cup.
When the sweet potatoes are well on their way—centers need more time, but the outsides are just beginning to get some color—add the apples.
You definitely don’t want to walk away from this. It’s a delicate balance of heat, natural sugars and butter. Too hot and it’ll burn, too cool and it’ll turn to mush. Every couple minutes, move them around. I like to think of it like I’m basting them in browning butter… mmmm…
Once everything is soft enough to eat, about 20 minutes maybe, toss in your chopped walnuts, mix it around and then transfer to a serving dish. Done.
Because I like to get the most out of my food, here are some after thoughts… Should you have leftovers, they “roll forward” very well. It becomes breakfast when reheated with a little added cinnamon and a couple hard-boiled eggs on the side. It becomes lunch or even a quick dinner the next day by topping with some ground or link sausage. This recipe is a go-to at our house!