A good friend attended the birthday party of a centenarian who was asked, “How do you live to be 100 [and healthy]?”
Centenarian’s answer: “Eat only what you prepare.”
On that real food note, I have a delectable sweet potato recipe featuring tahini, pine nuts, and parsley. A real POP for the taste buds. The flavors seriously seem to come at you from all directions, first from one way and then another. It is soooooooo, sooooooo good! The ingredients sound exotic, but I can usually find them in most supermarkets.
My recipe is adapted from The Amateur Gourmet’s Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Za’atar, and I’m pretty sure one of you made my life better by sharing the link with me! When I don’t have enough sweet potatoes on hand, I’ll mix in some humble potato. I’m pretty sure the recipe would be delicious substituted with potato entirely, too. (The original recipe used unpeeled butternut squash! Do check it out!) When I don’t have pine nuts, I’ll use blanched, sliced almonds. The original recipe also calls for za’atar, which is a Middle Eastern spice blend. If I have it, I use it.
Life is about adaptability.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Red Onion, Tahini, Pine Nuts, And Parsley
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes (approximately 3-4 sweet potatoes, depending on the size), peeled and cut into 16ths or 18ths (or use potato or squash)
- 2 red onions, cut into 1-2 inch wedges
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (divided usage)
- 2 teaspoons plus 1/2 teaspoon plus a sprinkle of salt (divided usage)
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup tahini (ground up sesame seeds, found in ethnic aisle–I used Krinos– or grind your own if you’re good)
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- Water to thin tahini sauce (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup of pine nuts (also called pignoli–or sustibute blanched, sliced almonds)
- Flat leaf parsley (or curly will do), anywhere from 1/4 cup to over 1/2 cup, depending on preference
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C).
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped sweet potatoes and onion wedges with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt and some pepper to taste. Then spread on a large, rimmed cookie sheet (line with parchment paper for easier clean-up). Roast in oven, stirring once to prevent burning, until the sweet potatoes are very fork tender (approximately 30 minutes). Remove from oven and place in your desired serving dish.
- In a small bowl, make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and minced garlic. Add just enough water to thin to a pourable cream-like sauce. Set aside.
- Roast the pine nuts by placing the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and a little sprinkle of salt. Watch closely, stirring frequently until lightly browned. (I burn the first batch nearly EVERY time.) Remove from pan and set aside.
- To assemble the dish, drizzle the tahini sauce over the top of the sweet potatoes. (You may not use all of the sauce, depending on if you were under 3 pounds or over 3 pounds of potatoes or if you just don’t like that much sauce! Save it to make a salad dressing or to serve on top of a baked potato like sour cream and top with parsley!) Sprinkle the pine nuts on, and lastly garnish with parsley. If you like parsley, use a lot. (I used 3/4 cup.) If you don’t, just use enough to make it pretty.
Family “gustar” report: The baby (2 y/o) likes the sweet potatoes with the tahini sauce fine enough, but she picks off everything else. The rest of the family really, really likes this dish, even the one who doesn’t like sweet potatoes. So I’m going to have to give it a 5.5/6. My husband always comes home from work the next day and says, “Where’s the leftover sweet potato dish?” It’s always gone.
Please, enjoy! And strive to eat and serve real food. I know it’s not easy. What is?