Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Jeff was out of town this week, which left me to cook whatever caught my fancy (as long as the children were adequately mollified by some random pasta dish.)  One night it was a head of roasted cauliflower, another it was leftover lamb shank with dilled rice and lima beans from Raffi's Place in Glendale.  Tonight, it was sweet potato.  Yup. Sweet potato for dinner.  Not as a side (though, that would certainly work for those who desire a more balanced meal) but as the main attraction.  And it was good.  Great, even. Which, of course, is why I bother to share it with you.

It is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's new book, Jerusalem.  I have been waiting for this book to come out since his other tome, Plenty, makes me plenty happy in a vegetarian sort of way.  And it is the first recipe that I have seen on the internet (oh, the internet makes me so happy sometimes!)

I used a purple sweet potato which just happened to be lying around my house (because I have that kind of house with random ingredients,) but any color will work.  Without further ado, I bring you:  Dinner (or Side Dish.)

Yield: 6 servings 
Cook Time: 25 minutes

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2¼ pounds) (the recipe doesn't specify that you peel them, but the photo in the book looks like they are peeled, so I did it.)

    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    2 teaspoons flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) (I actually just used kosher...totally ok.)

    Freshly ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons plus 2½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar

    1½ tablespoons granulated sugar

    12 scallions--white and light green parts only, stalks halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into 1½-inch segments

    1 Fresno chile (or another small, mild red chile), thinly sliced crosswise (I could only find a red jalepeno, so I seeded it and it was fine...not too hot.)

    6 ripe figs, quartered (optional) (this was not in my fridge tonight, so no figs for me...)

    1. Preheat the oven to 475°. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise, then slice each half lengthwise into thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, place the sweet potato wedges and season with 2½ tablespoons olive oil, the salt and some ground black pepper. Toss to combine and arrange the wedges skin side down. Roast until soft and dark around the edges (but not mushy), 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool, then arrange on a platter.

    2. In a small saucepan set over high heat, add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thick, 2 to 4 minutes. Once the vinegar looks slightly runnier than honey, remove it from the heat (it will continue to thicken as it cools; stir in a drop of water if it is too thick to drizzle).

    3. In a medium nonstick skillet set over medium heat, add the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, after 1 to 2 minutes, add the scallions and sliced chile. Fry until the scallions are browned and frizzled, stirring often so they don’t burn, 3 to 5 minutes (I actually cooked it at medium heat for about 7 minutes without it turning brown.) Spoon the scallion-chile mixture over the sweet potatoes. Add the figs, if using, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction.