How can Thanksgiving come and go without sweet potatoes? They are core right? I am not a fan of smooth or mashed sweet potatoes so this fabulous recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem totally caught my attention and -BAM – it’s a hit in our house. I will be bringing this dish to the Thanksgiving table. What makes it so great is the contrast of the sweet potatoes and sweet fresh figs with the spice of the red chili and green onion. I found the fresh Black Mission figs at Meijers in the produce section near the prepared fruits. The salty feta cheese rounds everything out but if you are avoiding dairy, do make this without and be just as pleased with the results. The colors are stunning. The flavors are wonderful. Definitely a winner among sweet potato recipes (in my book!)
Enjoy this side dish and please remember to sprinkle it with lots of love and blessings!
- 4 small sweet potatoes (2¼ pounds total)
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 scant tablespoons balsamic vinegar (you can use a commercial rather than a premium aged grade)
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 12 green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1½-inch segments
- 1 red chili, thinly sliced
- 6 ripe figs (8½ ounces total), quartered
- 5 ounces feta cheese or soft goat’s milk cheese (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes, halve them lengthwise, and then cut each half into 3 long wedges. Mix with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and some black pepper.
- Spread the wedges out, skin side down, on a baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, until they are soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- To make the balsamic reduction, place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, until it thickens. Be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the vinegar is still runnier than honey; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in a drop of water before serving if it does become too thick to drizzle.
- Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the green onions and chili. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the chili. Spoon the oil, onions and chili over the sweet potatoes. Dot the figs among the wedges, and then drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Serve at room temperature. Crumble the cheese over the top, if using.