Porcini mushroom and sweet potato risotto Serves 2 10g dried porcini mushrooms Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6 and boil a kettle. Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and add 100ml boiling water, leave for 20 mins. Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic and onion. Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1 cm pieces. Roughly tear the kale. Place the sweet potato on a baking tray, sprinkle over a pinch of sea salt and drizzle over 1 tsp oil. Place in the oven for 15-20 mins, turning halfway through. Boil another kettle. Heat a medium-sized pan with 1 tsp oil and cook the garlic and onion for 5 mins until softening. Rinse the quinoa and add to the pan with the onion. Stir for 1 minute. Pour in 200ml boiling water, season with sea salt and black pepper and simmer until the water has been absorbed. Then add the porcini mushrooms in their water to the pan. It should take 15 mins for the quinoa to cook. Add more boiling water if needed. Drain the edamame beans and stir into the risotto … [Read more...] about How to make porcini mushroom and sweet potato risotto
He’s credited with being the first recorded European to make contact with the eastern coastline of Australia. And Marton-born Captain James Cook was also the first to circumnavigate New Zealand on one of his epic around-the-world voyages. But 250 years after a visit to the Polynesian islands, the world-renowned explorer could have solved an off-beat mystery - the origins of the sweet potato. Scientists say they have fathomed how the vegetable, which is native to the Americas, also grows on the islands - which are thousands of miles away. The new study rejects a long held notion that people from the Americas were in touch with Polynesians before Europeans turned up in the New World in the 15th Century. It had been thought that the sweet potato had been brought by travellers from the Americas, and cultivated on the Pacific islands. But recent research now suggests the tasty mealtime treat was not transported by human hands - but instead, seeds probably floated over the ocean … [Read more...] about How Captain Cook may have helped solve a sweet potato mystery
Tampa (AFP) - The bulbous, colorful sweet potato has long been seen as an artifact of mankind's first ocean voyages, ferried from its home in South America all the way to Polynesia centuries ago. But a controversial new study Thursday questions that assumption, using the most extensive genetic analysis yet to suggest that the sweet potato was widespread on Earth long before humans came into the picture. Researchers at the University of Oxford say their findings show that sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) originated in South America some 800,000 years ago, and that the plant likely made its way to the Pacific island simply by seeds traveling on the wind. "We show there is no need to invoke human-mediated transport," co-author Tom Carruthers, a PhD student at the University of Oxford, told AFP. "Sweet potato evolved before humans so the origin of sweet potato hasn't got anything to do with humans." However, some experts questioned the findings, saying they ignore an ample amount of … [Read more...] about Which came first: the people or the sweet potatoes?
The sweet potato is ubiquitous enough to seem almost mundane – but its origins have long been shrouded in mystery. Now scientists say they have solved the puzzle, in the process scotching the idea that people in the Americas were in touch with Polynesians before the Europeans turned up in the New World in the 15th century. The research reveals that the sweet potato evolved just once, probably in central or northern South America, and originated from a single ancestor. What’s more, an analysis of a 250-year-old sample of sweet potato collected during Captain Cook’s voyage to the South Pacific on HMS Endeavour suggests the spuds arrived in Polynesia by means of ocean currents. “I think we have proved that there is no need to claim human transportation of the sweet potato across the Pacific – there is much more powerful evidence for naturally driven dispersal,” said Pablo Muñoz-Rodríguez, a PhD student and first author of the research from … [Read more...] about Tests on Captain Cook’s sweet potato fuel row over how crop reached Polynesia
With spring just down the road, you’ve likely already figured out the main dish for the feast accompanying whichever of the two big seasonal holidays – Easter or Passover – you celebrate. Leg of lamb and glazed ham are Easter favorites. Braised brisket or roast chicken land on many Passover tables. But no matter which way you roll, Shredded Sweet Potatoes with Dates and Pistachios is a tasty side dish that’s a great way to round out the menu. The easy part of this recipe is it takes just 5 minutes to cook on top of the stove. And because the oven is going to be hogged for hours by the main dish you’re roasting, on top of the stove is exactly where you want it to cook. But sweet potatoes are dense, you say. How can they become tender in 5 minutes? Well, it’s a snap when you shred them before putting them in the skillet. Like many of us with a food processor, you might have long ago stashed the box it came in – the one containing all the slicing … [Read more...] about Shredded Sweet Potatoes make an easy Passover or Easter side dish