Tradition can be a tyrant -- some dishes earn their place in the Thanksgiving pantheon, while others squeak by year after year on sentiment alone (ahem, Nana's gluey turnip mash). Bust your family's way-too-sweet potato rut with a bright and unique side dish that stands on merit. Bonus: it's dairy-free.
Sweet Potato-Coconut Casserole
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 2 teaspoons juice
1 1/4 cups miniature marshmallows
2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
It may look like a traditional sweet potato casserole at first glance, but this version gets richness from coconut milk instead of cream, and brightness from fresh lime juice.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot, cover sweet potatoes with cold salted water by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes in a colander and let sit 5 minutes, then transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Add coconut milk and lime zest and juice; process until combined. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with marshmallows and coconut and bake until toasted and golden, about 15 minutes.
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Some dishes, on the other hand, need little reinvention -- and all the cream and butter your heart desires.