When we decided to spend the next six months at I Heart Cooking Clubs cooking with Yotam Ottolenghi, one of the first people I told about it was my friend Mairi at Toast. She is at least as big an Ottolenghi fan as I am, and I knew she would want to join in. In her post this week for these wonderful Sweet Potato Fritters, Mairi says ... "I am loving it, it has somehow reinvigorated me a little. Made me really, really enjoy cooking again & sharing it here on Toast without it feeling remotely like a chore. It is again a pleasure & a joy. And that is what I love about Ottolenghi, always inspiring. I have yet to cook something from any of his books that has not delighted. There is something wonderful & exciting the first time you try some sort of new flavour combination or a new way to cook a few simple ingredients & turn them in to something so much more than the some of their parts."
And that is exactly the way I feel. I am always excited by the interesting flavour combinations that Ottolenghi introduces me to and, as Mairi suggests, turning a few simple ingredients into something that is so much greater than the sum of their parts.
Case in point ... these Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Creme Fraiche. Wedges of sweet potato are tossed with a combination of sea salt and ground coriander, and roasted until tender and caramelised. Sweet potato with ground coriander was a new flavour combination for me, and one I'll definitely be trying again. As for the dipping sauce - creme fraiche made zingy with lemongrass and lime - heavenly with just about anything. And then put the sweet potato and the sauce together, and sprinkle over a bit of chilli and fresh coriander, and we're taking awesomely, incredibly, amazingly good.
I will definitely be making these again ... most likely even before the week is out!!
Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Creme Fraiche Recipe
Adapted (ever so slightly) from recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2x large sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1x fresh red chilli, finely sliced
handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
For the sauce:
fresh lemongrass stalk
200g creme fraiche
grated zest & juice of 2x limes
small knob of ginger, peeled & grated
flaky sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
Cut the sweet potatoes (unpeeled) in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into four long wedges.
Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking paper, and brush the paper lightly with a little of the olive oil. Place wedges, in a single layer on the paper and brush liberally with more olive oil. Mix together the flaky sea salt and ground coriander, and sprinkle generously over the sweet potato wedges.
Roast in the preheated oven until the wedges are golden brown and tender - about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile get on with the dipping sauce. Put creme fraiche in a small bowl. Add the grated lime zest and juice, grated ginger and sea salt. Place the "fleshy" end of the lemongrass stalk on a wooden board and, using a kitchen mallet or the back of a knife, bash to break up the stalk a little and release the flavour and aroma. Now use the "beaten up" stalk like a spatula to mix the sauce until it is well blended, and leave the stalk in the sauce, to continue releasing its flavour, while you set it aside until the wedges are cooked.
The wedges are best served warm or at room temperature. When you're ready to serve them, set the wedges on a platter or board, sprinkle over the fresh coriander leaves and chilli, and serve the dipping sauce on the side (discarding the lemongrass stalk just before you serve).
If you would like to get to know Yotam Ottolenghi a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...
... or check out Plenty and Ottolenghi's other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Fishpond NZ.
I will also be sharing this post at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace.