dsc04105from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, p. 67.

This recipe will be the last I blog from this cookbook — not,  I hasten to qualify, because I’m never going to use it again but rather because I don’t want to discourage people from purchasing it. For all its faults, Ottolenghi’s cookbook  will have you combining flavors you would never have considered putting together but will make you awfully glad you did.

To whet your appetite, here is a sampling of other recipes found in the book:

  • Peaches and speck with orange blossom
  • Fennel and feta with pomegranate and sumac
  • Marinated eggplant with tahini and oregano
  • Caramelized endive with Serrano ham
  • Red lentil and chard soup
  • Grilled eggplant and lemon soup
  • Marinated rack of lamb iwth coriander and honey
  • Roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey
  • Seared duck breast with blood orange and star anise
  • 10 fish and shellfish recipes

I made this sweet potato dish to serve with a roast goose and citrus-infused shredded cabbage and chopped apple. Like the two other recipes I’ve posted, the proportions need adjusting.

But let’s see how Yotam sets the recipe up:

2 sweet potatoes (about 850g [2 lbs] in total)

3 Tbsp olive oil

35g [1.5 oz] pecan nuts

4 spring onions, roughly chopped

4 Tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbsp roughly chopped coriander [cilantro]

1/4 tsp dried chili flakes

35g [1.5 oz] sultanas [blond raisins]

salt and pepper

For the dressing

4 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp orange juice

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 190 C/Gas mark 5 [375 F]. Start with the sweet potatoes. Don’t peel them! Cut them into 2 cm [3/4 inch], spread them out on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, mix well with your hands and then roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until just tender. Turn them over gently half way through cooking.

2. In a separate baking tray, toast the pecans for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop roughly.

3. To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

4. When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the spring onions, parsley, coriander, chilli, pecans and sultanas. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to blend, then season to taste. Serve at once or at room temperature.

My turn…

The flavors and textures in this dish are surprising and delightful. I made it exactly as Yotam calls for, but I found the amount of dressing left a pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. I would also cut back on the chopped green onions and herbs. In other words, if you reduce the amounts by a third, I think the ensemble would work better. The only reservation I have is that the chili flakes were overwhelmed. The slight tang of heat I was expecting was imperceptible.

I liked the dish a lot. Not sure my guests liked it as much as I did. It’s a very inventive, creative use of flavors.

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