Roasted, mashed, steamed, fried, grilled or grated – to me, those orange-fleshed spuds are the ultimate comfort food. I always roast a few sweet potatoes at the start of the week – and then use them in salads – and to whip up this quick, tasty dinner. Cooked sweet potato will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, however don’t refrigerate raw sweet potatoes; it hardens the flesh and gives them a slightly unpleasant flavour. When you roast your sweet potatoes, just remember to poke a few holes in the skin as they’ve been known to explode in the oven (which is both dangerous and very, very messy).
- 4 small orange sweet potatoes, about 1.3 kg (3 lb) total
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Creamy cashew dressing
- 3 tablespoons raw cashew nuts
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon juice)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, dry roasted
- 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- ¼ bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves
- ¼ bunch mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Pierce sweet potatoes with a skewer or fork and place on a baking tray. Bake for 55– 60 minutes or until tender when pierced with a skewer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the creamy cashew dressing. In a frying pan, dry roast the cashews for 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until combined. Add 3–4 tablespoons water or as much as you need to reach a thick but pourable consistency.
- Once sweet potatoes are cooked, slice in half lengthways and use a spoon to carefully scoop out about half of the flesh. Set aside the removed flesh (you can use this to make a delicious ginger infused mash or sweet potato arancini balls).
- Preheat oven grill. Brush sweet potato skins with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place sweet potatoes under a grill and cook for a further 8–10 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- Drizzle over Thai cashew sauce and scatter with pine nuts, spring onions, coriander and mint. Serve immediately.
Images: New Holland Publishers. Photographer Kyle Manning; Stylist Jane Graystone.