Sometimes even the simplest, smallest tweaks in prep or technique can make the path to weeknight dinner faster, easier, and more rewarding. Such is the case with this streamlined, Thai-inspired curry. Its steps are simple: combine everything in one pot (including the aromatics, which meld so well with the sauce since they're finely grated), bring it to a simmer, and slide it into the oven. It's virtually hands-off, just the ticket for nights when you want a nourishing, flavor-packed dinner without a lot of fuss. —EmilyC
finely grated ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
In a 12-inch ovenproof sauté or braising pan with 2- to 3-inch sides, combine first seven ingredients (ginger through fish sauce), stirring well to integrate, then stir in sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, collards, and salt. Tip: for easy prep, use a Microplane (or other rasp grater) to grate the ginger, shallot, and lime zest directly into the pan; don't worry about the exact amounts. (Note: you may get mostly juice when grating your shallot--this is okay!) Alternatively, process the ginger and shallot to a fine paste in a mini food processor or mortar and pestle.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring a few times to make sure the sweet potatoes and collards are evenly coated in the sauce (if they're not fully submerged, that's fine!). Simmer for a minute or two, then transfer to the oven.
Simmer in the oven (uncovered) for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Tip: Stir the curry after about 15 minutes to ensure even cooking, and check the tenderness of the sweet potatoes. (Lower heat, if needed, if simmering too vigorously.) Thin with a little extra stock or water, if desired.
Squeeze a little lime juice into the curry, and adjust seasoning to taste with salt or fish sauce. Serve warm over rice, topping with black sesame seeds and herbs, if using.