Sweet potatoes roasted with fresh sage and garlic and tossed with black rice for a comforting winter side dish recipe.
My husband and I don’t dumb down our use of language for our children. Instead, we tell them like it is, explaining fully that the little openings in the car seats where the buckles poke through lead to the great abyss from which fallen LEGOS may never return, and then giving a lesson on what the word “abyss” means to a four-year-old. Scientific terminology and processes are usually headed up by Ole, and I take on linguistics and social sciences, with both of us filling in the gaps in reasoning that remain. (Though I admit that I allow the cute language-learning processes go untouched for as long as possible because hearing “got for” rather than “forgot” or “you make me funny” instead of “you make me laugh” makes me funny, indeed.) My children learn quickly that the answer to any “why” question will be a lengthy one, complete with bulleted examples and the occasional PowerPoint presentation.
We take a similar approach to difficult subjects: honest and straightforward. Sure, there are times when it might be nice to shield their virgin eyes from the horrors of the real world, but this simply does not appeal to me. For example: Santa is not real. People are starving, and no red-suited man is heading there to hand out food and clean water. I alone hold the keys to what you get for Christmas, dear children, and the true spirit of Christmas is not in the getting, but in the giving.
It is with this same reasoning in mind that I relate to you the following: I am not ready for the holidays. Call me Ebenezer if you must, but I simply cannot do Christmas cookies just yet. I refuse to buy a tree for the kids to decorate until we’re a good week and a half into December, and while this may sound like Scrooge-ish behavior, really I just hate when they start to drop their needles before the big day arrives.
I delight in the fact that my youngest proclaims this to be “the best Christmas ever” when he sees even the sparsest of Christmas lights displays, for if that is all it takes to be the “best ever,” he is seldom going to be disappointed in this world.
While others may be sugar-coating the back of their hand so that you may lick it and proclaim its brilliance, I am just not there yet. Instead, I have rice. Black rice at that. Christmas cookies and hot chocolate are just around the corner, but please, allow me the luxury of enjoying the sunshine today, even if it is paired with a snow-covered earth.
Sage and garlic coat sweet potatoes and join the fragrant and slightly sweet purple-hued rice in a comfortingly warm dish that wants to keep you company this winter. Oh my gosh, winter is coming. Please send the elves.
This post is sponsored by Hinode and SunFoods. They send me money and bags of rice in exchange for writing the truth about Santa. It’s a good partnership, especially because we like rice an awful lot, and you can find their products in supermarkets and supercenters and super places all over.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh sage, julienned
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups uncooked black rice, cooked according to package directions
Preheat the oven to 425º F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment (this is essential to collect the drippings later). In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potato chunks, the olive oil, sage, garlic, and salt. Toss to coat the potatoes completely.
Spread the potatoes in a single layer over the baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes until they are cooked through and the edges are turning golden brown. Remove the sheet from the oven and toss the potatoes, as well as all the garlic and oil drippings with the rice. Stir well and serve warm.
Makes 6 servings.