Caribbean Sweet Potato Gratin

Serves 6 to 8

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Baking time: 60 minutes

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1 ½ tsp freshly grated lime peel

2 Tbs fresh lime juice

2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

½ tsp dried thyme

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

2 ½ cups coconut milk*

4 cups peeled and sliced sweet potatoes** (1 ½ pounds)

1 cup cooked rice

1 ½ cups cooked black beans (15-ounce can, drained)

1 ½ cups fresh spinach, rinsed, stemmed, and chopped


¾ cup cornmeal

1 Tbs vegetable oil

½ tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp salt

* About 20 ounces. Most coconut milk comes in 14-ounce cans; store extra in the freezer in a sealed container.

** Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice them thinly.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine the garlic, lime peel and juice, cilantro, thyme, salt, pepper, and coconut milk in a measuring cup. Pour one-third of this mixture into the prepared baking pan. Layer half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom, topped by half of the rice, half of the black beans, and half the spinach. Pour on another third of the coconut milk mixture and repeat the layers of sweet potatoes, rice, beans, and spinach. Pour the remaining coconut milk mixture over all.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the gratin.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for about 60 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven after 30 minutes to ensure uniform baking. When the potatoes are tender and the topping is crisp and golden brown, remove from the oven and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes until the potatoes absorb any remaining liquid.
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