Living the Good Life…

My food blog & cookbook in progress

Salad from Sara

Contribution from a niece-in-law Sara Cooper in response to a chain mail. She sent it to me as a bonus and while I haven’t tried it yet, the goodness in it, the deliciousness of it is permeating my consciousness even as I type. Enjoy it everyone:

Roasted Sweet Potato & Fig Salad
4 small sweet potatoes (2 1/4 lb / 1 kg in total)
5 tbsp olive oil
Scant 3 tbsp / 40 ml balsamic vinegar (you can use a commercial rather than a premium aged grade)
1 1/2 tbsp / 20 g superfine sugar
12 green onions/shallots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-in / 4cm segments
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
6 ripe figs (8 1/2 oz / 240 g in total), quartered or dates (6-8 dates chopped up)
Pine nuts
Almonds (unsalted)
5 oz / 150 g soft goat’s milk cheese (optional)
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
      Preheat the oven to 475°F / 240°C.
      Wash the sweet potatoes, halve them lengthwise, and then cut each half again similarly 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 soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.
      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. ( I just used balsamic vinegar straight up or reduced on it’s own w/o extra sugar – it may not be as thick, but the figs, potatoes and the vinegar itself add enough sweetness so as to not warrant more sugar).
       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 chilli. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the chilli. Spoon the oil, onions, and chilli mixture over the sweet potatoes.
       Using the same pan sauté the pine nuts and almonds and pour over salad.  (Not sure but here’s where I think that the goat cheese should be added although spooning some over the sweet potatoes before adding the dressing might work nicely too)

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