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Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Leeks and Sausage

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Serves 4 as a main course; 8 as a side dish

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

In these comforting stuffed sweet potatoes, fresh herbs, salty sausage, Gruyère, and sour cream are delicious, savory counterpoints to the sweet potatoes and leeks. Serve them as a main dish or as an accompaniment to seared steak or roast chicken.

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (about 8 oz. each)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil  
  • 1/2 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage (or link sausage, casings removed) 
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. leeks, white and light-green parts only, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 2 cups) 
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme   
  • Kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyère  
Tip:
Sweet potatoes have thin, delicate skin that tears easily, so don’t scrape too hard when scooping them out. Leaving 1/8 inch of flesh in each shell will  keep it from flopping closed. 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Poke the sweet potatoes a few times with the tip of a knife and arrange them on the baking sheet. Bake until completely tender when pierced in the fattest part with a skewer, 35 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, breaking it into small bits with the edge of a slotted spoon, until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat and add the butter. When it melts, add the leeks, sage, thyme, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring stirring, until the mixture just starts to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are very soft and starting to turn golden, 10 to 15 minutes. 

When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut them in half lengthwise and gently scoop the flesh into a medium bowl, leaving about 1/8 inch of flesh in the shells. Mash the scooped flesh with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Stir in the sour cream and 1 tsp. salt. Fold the sausage and leeks into the mashed sweet potato and season to taste with salt. 

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Mound the filling into the potato skins and top with the cheese. Put the potatoes in a 9x13-inch baking dish and broil until the cheese is golden, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): fat g 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4.5; Protein (g): protein g 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 30; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 560; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 20; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Fabulous and easy to make. It's a really pretty dish for company. I made the leek and sausage mixture a day a head. So all I had to do the day of my dinner was bake the potatoes and assemble.

Delicious! Didn't use the potato shells as it was easier to use ramekins. Added a large handful of fresh cranberries to the leeks and cooked them until they popped, then sweetened them with a splash of agave nectar. It added a nice "pop" of flavor. Comfort food for sure.

GREAT recipe! Definitely a keeper. My fiance loves it, which means it will remain in our family for years. Didn't change a thing to it.

Delicious! I also used NF Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream and I omitted the sausage (since I served these with filet mignon). Everyone wanted the recipe (even my friends who I described the recipe to).

Love these! I've made these several times. Tonight I substituted Greek non-fat plain yogurt for the sour cream and it worked just fine. I also grated some Parmesan on top before broiling.

Absolutely scrumptious! Truly one of the best recipes I've made recently. Had to substitute some ingredients: used Italian "hot" sausage, rather than mild (which I would use again,) doubled the fresh thyme and sage, and used havarti dill cheese, since I didn't have gruyere. Couldn't believe just how delicious this was!!!! It's a keeper!

We made this for dinner last night. I omitted the thyme and used yogurt instead of sour cream. The orange-fleshed vegetable in the picture looks like what my grocery labels "yams"; my sweet potatoes were a lighter yellow in color. It came out wonderful; we ate it for dinner with a spring mix salad and a light vinaigrette.

Excellent alternative to "sweetened" sweet potatoes. I didn't add all of the chopped leeks because I thought my potatoes looked small. But next time I will put in the recommended amount. I served halves as a side dish to pork chops.

sooooooooo delicious!!!!!!!!!! i didn't find sour cream so i used greek yogurt and instead of gruyere, i used parmesan!!!excellent recipe!!!!

Excellent! Didn't have leeks so used scallions, also did not have guyere so used a cheese blend I had on hand! They are so delicious. This served us well as a main dish entree, as they are very filling. Next time, I plan to add a touch of chipotle powder for a little smokey kick! Can't wait to make these again!

Excellent recipe!!! Very filling and I served it along side of Kale for a delicious weeknight meal! Next time I am going to try rubbing olive oil and salt on the outside of the potatoe when it first cooks - thought this might crisp up the skins a little!

Delicious addition to a fall dinner. I added chopped walnuts for a little crunch. The recipe was accurate and easy to follow except for an ingredient listing for olive oil, but no mention of it in the directions. Rave reviews from everyone at the table.

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