I have a new love. It's Ottolenghi, or Ottolenghi The Cookbook, to be precise.
Together with their new book, Plenty, the brains behind the Ottolenghi restaurants in the UK have come up with a foolproof and undeniable way for us to eat more vegetables. The books are so colourful, and the recipes look so fresh, uncomplicated and downright unresistable that I challenge anyone not be be tempted.
The opportunity to make something from the book came about when I was asked to try the new McCain Sweet Potato SuperFries*. I must say, the fries are pretty good on their own, and a nice alternative to normal spud chips. What I did was adapt this Ottolenghi recipe for Sweet Potato with Cashews and Honey, replacing the sweet potato pieces with the crinkle-cut fries (and honey for maple syrup, and cashews for pecans). It's a lovely way to devour the fries - popping the sweet potato fries into the honey vinegar dressing with a scattering of cashews and sultanas is ambrosial.
Sweet Potato Chips with Cashews and Honey
serves 4 as a side dish
400g sweet potato fries (or 400g sweet potato, cut into 2cm chunks)20g cashews or pecans, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
salt and pepper
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp honey or maple syrup
1 tblsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tblsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F. Roast the sweet potato fries in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they are tender. If using sweet potato pieces, coat the potatoes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before baking. Keep an eye on the fries to ensure they don't burn or get too brown.
2. Make the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
3. When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot, and mix in the chilli flakes, cashews and sultanas, and stir to combine.
4. Pour over the dressing and stir gently. Sprinkle over the spring onions before serving.
Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook
The sweet potato fries are good as is, or add some sultanas and greenery for even more eating pleasure. I used the crinkle cut chips in this recipe although the thin cut fries would also be good.
The sweet potato chips absorb the honey dressing when they are still hot. The dish can be served warm, or at room temperature.