Sweet potatoes have this dangerous tendency to be boring. I think it’s the word ‘potato’ that does it. Potatoes can be bland, lazy and usually fill the roll of flavourless sidekick, relying on the addition of sauces and gravies for personality. While sweet potatoes are different in so many ways from the standard russet tater, more often than not, they get painted with the same dull brush and more than is necessary, sweet potatoes morph into the same old boring french fry substitute.
But they can be so much more! They get along great with spices in curries, they sweeten up delectably in pie and they positively soar when mingled with savoury flavours like orange, bell pepper and raisins. In the beginning this dish fitfully resembles every-day sweet potato fries, but when tossed with dressing and some fresh herbs, these potatoes transform into a sum much, much greater than it’s fresh and sumptuous parts.
Serves 4 as a side
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp oil
salt and pepper
30 ml red wine vinegar
1/2 red pepper, core and seeds removed
1 orange, peeled
2 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion
Preheat oven to 400F and toss cubed potatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Bake ‘taters for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to ensure even browning. Once the potatoes are finished, remove from heat and let cool.
In the meantime, in your blender on high speed, mix together the orange, red pepper, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Once blended, if your sauce is chunky, pour it through a fine sieve to remove the bigger bits.
Dress the sweet potatoes with sauce and toss with chopped herbs and raisins.
When I served this my six year old burst out with, “Ew gross, I’m not eating that!” Then, after a little cajoling, she took a bite and admitted, “it’s actually pretty good.” There weren’t any leftovers.