So now that we're thinking outside the box, let's bake our sweet potatoes and top them with some savory Mediterranean inspired ingredients. Tangy crumbles of feta cheese mixed with a combination of rich salty olives and a spicy red chile marinating in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and fennel and coriander seeds. It's one colorful combination that delivers a unique flavor sensation. The sweetness of the potato is a nice contrast to the bright flavor of the salty olives, the tangy feta cheese, and the hint of spice from the red hot chile. It's a complex dish that delivers sweet, salty, savory, and spicy. Save the brown sugar and marshmallows for dessert. Trust me.
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marinated Feta and Black Olives
Adapted from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons
By Diana Henry
For The Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes
a little olive oil
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
For the Marinated Feta
7 ounces of feta cheese, roughly broken up
4 ounces of kalamata olives
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 medium red hot chili, deseded and cut into slivers
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
extra virgin olive oil
Make the marinated feta mixture first so the flavors have time to meld. Combine the feta, olives, fennel seeds, chili, garlic, coriander seeds in a small bowl. Drizzle feta mixture with enough extra virgin olive oil to moisten it. Cover and store this mixture in a cool place while the potatoes bake to allow the flavors to meld.
Bake the sweet potatoes in their skins in an oven preheated to 350F. They should be just tender, which will take about 50 minutes, but do check with a skewer - it really depends upon the size of your potatoes.
When the potatoes are cooked, split them open lengthwise, like you would a baked potato. Sprinkle with a little oil and freshly ground black pepper, and fill with the marinated feta. Sprinkle each potato with roughly chopped cilantro and serve.
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