Yotam Ottolenghi’s sweet potato recipes (2024)

At Thanksgiving a year or so ago, I ate so much of one sweet potato dish that I almost made myself sick. The layered potato slices were topped with marshmallow and drizzled with maple syrup, so Ishould really have known better.

I also wish I’d known that not all sweet potatoes are equally sweet, and that there are so many more varieties than the orange-fleshed ones (aka Jewel or Beauregard) that we see most commonly on shop shelves. Sweet potatoes vary hugely in looks and colour, too. Their skin can be tan, cream, copper or a deep purple-red, but it’s the flesh inside, which ranges from orange to white or a wonderfully bright purple, that highlights the differences in taste and texture.

These variations in hue are due to the presence of different plant pigments that give all vegetables their colour: chlorophyll turns them green, beta-carotene makes them orange (or yellow or red) and anthocyanins turn things red or purple. Each of these pigments responds differently to heat, water and light. Carotenoids, for example, are relatively stable, which is why carrots tend to stay bright orange when cooked, whereas some green vegetables can lose their vibrancy, asdo purple veg.

Different coloured sweet potatoes also have varying levels of starch, which, once cooked, affects how sweet they are (this is due to an enzyme that attacks the starch and breaks it down to maltose, which can be almost syrupy-sweet). This process is most apparent in orange sweet potatoes, particularly when they’re cooked long and slow (so giving the enzyme more time to work), and explains why quickly boiled or steamed orange sweet potato is far less sweet.

White or golden-fleshed sweet potatoes are more starchy than orange ones, and have a nuttier, slightly drier texture that makes them ideally suited for fritters (a soggy mix doesn’t lend itself to frying).

Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes, meanwhile, are a wonderful recent revelation for me. I happened upon them by mistake, thinking I had bought some regular sweet potatoes at the local market (they’re piled high at any West Indian market or grocer, if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby), and came across that glorious mauve flesh only after I’d peeled them. They have a distinct taste, too: nutty, smoky, with hints of bacon, they’re more savoury than sweet.

This got me thinking about the linkbetween fires and marshmallows on the one hand, and bacon and maple syrup on the other: maybethat super-sweet Thanksgiving dish did make a tiny bit of sense, after all.

Mashed purple sweet potatoes with lime and yoghurt

The purple looks brilliant, but the dish is still worth making if you can only get hold of regular orange sweet potatoes. Serves four as a dip/meze with flatbreads or focaccia.

550g purple (or orange) sweet potatoes(ie, about 2), peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
Flaked sea salt
40ml olive oil
2 limes – finely grate the zest of both and cut 1 into wedges, to serve
200g Greek-style yoghurt
½ small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1½ tsp pomegranate molasses
2 tsp coriander leaves, finely shredded
½ large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1½ tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Put the sweet potato in a small saucepan, add boiling water just to cover, then stir in a teaspoon and a half of salt and cook on medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes, until soft enough to mash. Drain the potatoes, add a tablespoon of oil, and mash until smooth. Leave to cool slightly, then stir in half the lime zest and two tablespoons of yoghurt. Spoon on to a platter, then make dips in the mash with the back of the spoon.

Combine the remaining yoghurt with the garlic and a tablespoon of oil, then spoon evenly over the mash, making sure the mash remains visible in places. Drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and the remaining oil, scatter over the coriander, chilli, sesame seeds and the remaining lime zest, season with an eighth of ateaspoon of salt and serve with the lime wedges.

Peanut and sweet potato fritters

You can buy white sweet potatoes inCaribbean supermarkets and specialist greengrocers. They have anutty taste and dry texture but, as in the mash recipe, regular orange sweet potatoes will also work, ifthat’s all you can find. Serve as a snack or starter, with a simple green salad. Makes 12 fritters, to serve six.

1 baking potato (400g)
1 large white (or orange) sweet potato(400g)
150g roasted skinless peanuts, finely blitzed in a food processor
2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
8 spring onions, finely chopped
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
15g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
60g coconut cream
2 tbsp rice flour (such as Doves, not the glutinous Asian variety)
3 tbsp groundnut oil, for frying
2 limes, zest finely grated, then cut into wedges, to serve

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put the potato and sweet potato on a small tray and roast for 45-60 minutes, until soft. Remove from the oven, cut in half, scoop out all the flesh and roughly mash (you should end up with about 500g). Add a teaspoon of salt and all the remaining ingredients apart from the lime wedges and oil, and combine. With slightly wet hands, form the mix into 12 7cm-wide x 2cm-thick patties, each weighing about 75g.

Pour a tablespoon of oil into alarge frying pan on a medium-high flame. Once hot, fry four fritters at atime for four to five minutes in total, carefully turning them once halfway, until golden-brown all over. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel and keep warm while you repeat with the remaining fritters and oil. Serve warm with the lime wedges alongside.

Winter spiced cheesecake with marmalade glaze

Yotam Ottolenghi’s sweet potato recipes (1)

This needs to set in the fridge for five hours, or overnight, so make it ahead of time. Once assembled, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Serves eight.

550g sweet potatoes (ie, 2 medium ones), cut in half lengthways
60g amaretti biscuits (the hard type, not the chewy ones)
60g Hobnob biscuits
60g roasted and salted almonds, roughly chopped
10g black sesame seeds, toasted (orwhite, if that’s all you have)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
70g unsalted butter, melted
300g full-fat cream cheese
250g mascarpone
90g icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
2 tsp vanilla bean essence
140g fine-shred marmalade
3 tbsp maple syrup

Heat the oven to 210C/410F/gas mark 6½ and line a round 23cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper.

Lay the sweet potatoes cut side down on an oven tray lined with baking paper, and roast for 30-50 minutes (depending on size), until very soft. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into afood processor – you should have 300g – and discard the skin and any hard or burnt bits. Blitz until very smooth, then refrigerate until cold.

While the potatoes are roasting, put the amaretti and Hobnobs in aclean plastic bag and bash them to a fine crumb with a rolling pin. Mix with the almonds, sesame seeds, spices and butter, then spoon into the base of the cake tin, pressing it down firmly to form an even layer. Refrigerate while you get on with preparing the cheesecake mixture.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s lasagne recipesRead more

In a free-standing mixer (or with ahand-held whisk), whisk the cooled sweet potato with the cream cheese, mascarpone, icing sugar, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of vanilla until smooth, thick and well combined. Spread the cheese mix evenly over the biscuit base, then refrigerate for at least five hours, or overnight, until set.

An hour before you want to serve, put the marmalade, maple syrup and the remaining lemon juice and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring toa boil on a medium-high heat, then stir vigorously for two minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

Release the cheesecake from its tin and discard the paper. Gently pour the cooled marmalade mix over the top of the cheesecake, and use the back of a spoon to level the surface. Refrigerate again for 10 minutes, then take to the table

Yotam Ottolenghi’s sweet potato recipes (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated:

Views: 5859

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.