I usually reserve sweet potatoes for wintertime recipes, when I am in a vegetable rut and need a little brightness in my life. But on a recent trip to one of my favorite restaurants (Roberta's), with one of my favorite ladies (Hetty), I had this dish ..... and it was one of the best things I had eaten in a restaurant in a while. I knew I needed to recreate it my way, and share it with you. I am so glad I did. This is one of the few things I made and devoured (both servings!!) before Michael got home. He didn't even get a chance to try it, and was quite jealous because I couldn't stop telling him that it was one of the tastiest most satisfying meals I have ever made. Don't feel bad for him though, this is something I am going to be making over and over and over again.
The best part about this, it is crosses all categories, all seasons, there are no boundaries with this dish. It can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. It can be enjoyed on a hot summer day, or a cool winter night. It can be shared with many as a appetizer, or eaten alone ...... or if you're as smitten as I am with this humble, flavorful dish, you can eat two serving all yourself. Oh, and a little bonus, you can make each part of this recipe in advance making this dish perfect for both a dinner party or brown bag lunch.
I decided to experiment with the crispy skin of the sweet potato by using another favorite recipe of mine, the crispy smashed fingerling potatoes. Whenever I have to feed a group in the summer, crispy potatoes are always on the menu. They are easy to throw together, and always win people over. I was so pleased that using the same technique, the larger sweet potato came out just the same and as tasty as the little guys. Avocado mash or chimichurri alone can make pretty much anything taste delicious, but when the two are added together to one crispy sweet potato, MAJOR food magic happens.
crispy skinned sweet potato + avocado mash + greens + chimichurri
This recipe will likely make much more chimichurri that you will need for two sweet potatoes, so you can easily double this recipe without doubling the chimichurri, or you can reserve any extra chimichurri and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. It goes well with so many things! Also, all parts of this recipe can be made in advance, making this very easy to throw together for serving guests or making ahead for yourself.
2 as a main, 4 as an appetizer
2 sweet potatoes
salt + pepper
for the chimichirri:
1 cup of loosely packed cilantro
1 cup of loosely packed parsley
1/3 cup of red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a jalapeño, seeded
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
for the avocado mash:
a squeeze of fresh lime juice (1/2 a lime)
salt + pepper
2 fresh eggs (optional)
optional additions: a handful of greens (raw, or sauteed), some microgreens, scallions
Make the chimichurri:
(TIP: it's best to make this a day or two before, so the flavors develop. Make it no less than 30 minutes before serving):
- Separately, roughly chop the cilantro, parsley, onion, garlic, and jalapeño, then add them to one large pile on the cutting board and continue to chop them all together until all the ingredients become minced and uniform in size. Place them in a small bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and stir. Cover, and set it aside until you're ready to serve.
Prepare the sweet potatoes:
- Pre-heat the oven to 450º.
- Place the sweet potatoes in large pot with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, and from the time it beings to boil, cook them for 15 minutes. You want them to be fork tender, but not fully cooked. They will continue to cook in the oven.
- Remove them from the water, and place onto a small baking sheet. Using a spatula, press down and flatten the potato slightly. Do not flatten fully, you basically just want to crack open the skin. Generously drizzle with olive oil, and generously season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes, but keep on checking because I find that oven temperatures vary even more at higher temperatures. You're looking for the skins to be brown, and charred around the edges. Once the skins look crispy, remove and place onto individual plates or one large if serving as an app to a group.
While the sweet potatoes are boiling + roasting, smash the avocado, and poach the eggs:
- Place the avocado, lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper into a small bowl and smash with a fork until the avocado is mashed. Set aside until you're ready to assemble.
- If using, poach your eggs, one at a time an set aside on a paper towel lined plate until you're ready to assemble. I you're not familiar (or need some tips) on how to poach an egg, this article is good: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-poach-egg
Assemble the dish:
- Place your potatoes onto a plate or plates (if you haven't done so). Add a scoop of the avocado mash, place the poached egg on the side, and finish with a drizzle of the chimichurri. Add any greens or additional toppings, and enjoy immediately.