Recipe: Mediterranean baked sweet potatoes

Sam Purnell shares one of his favourite home-cooked recipes

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This dish is the ultimate homemade comfort food, as who doesn’t love a good sweet potato? They’re incredibly versatile and so easy to make and personalise to your own tastes—whether you want it spicy, cheesy or just with a load of beans over the top. They’re also very healthy, but don’t hesitate to ruin this by topping them to your heart’s desire—just don’t add marshmallows: sorry to all the Americans out there, but that’s just wrong. This is one of my favourite dishes to make at home when I can’t be bothered to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen—you just pop the sweet potato in the oven and it’s pretty much done.

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato per person
1 425 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)

Garlic herb sauce:

60 g hummus
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill (or substitute 2-3 tsp fresh)
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp or 9 g)
Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin
Sea salt to taste

Topping suggestions:

45 g cherry tomatoes, diced 15 g chopped parsley, minced Chilli garlic sauce

Additional side ideas might include hummus, pita chips, baba ganoush, or Persian eggplant dip.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.

2. Rinse and scrub potatoes and cut in halflength wise. This will speed cooking time.

3. Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet.

5. While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water or almond milk to thin so it’s pourable.

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6. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savouriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavour.

7. Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by tossing tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside to marinate.

8. Once sweet potatoes are tender all the way through when pierced with a knife. The chickpeas should also be golden brown. This takes roughly around 25 minutes.

9. Remove these from oven.

10. To serve, flip potatoes flesh-side up and smash the insides a little bit to soften up.

12. Then top with chickpeas, sauce and parsley-tomato garnish.

13. Serve immediately.