There have been dramas galore the last couple of weeks behind the scenes with the blog caused in equal parts by my enthusiasm to press upgrade buttons willy-nilly without thought (or talent) and my ineptitude in googling how to fix things.
Which is strange really seeing as I seem to enter some query or other into the google machine oh I don’t know – maybe 20 times a day? At least.
Anyway, I’m half way there to getting it fixed and the next stage is updating the theme which is about 10 versions behind where it should be so if you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know to find me in the googlesphere asking inane questions of a 13 year old wordpress genius….
So just in the nick of time here’s another contribution to this months’ Cookbook Guru which shone the spotlight on Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. There have been some spectacular entries and it’s obviously a much loved book in many kitchens around the world. One day hopefully it will be on my bookshelf too, but in the meantime I delved into Arabesque for this Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad and boy I’m glad I did.
Just reading through the few recipes I could find online and from Arabesque I’ve come to realise that I sometimes dismiss recipes for seeming too ‘simple’ either in execution or the list of ingredients fails to inspire.
Claudia calls this a ‘Sweet Potato Salad’ and I think she does it a massive disservice. It’s so much more than that – in every mouthful you get the smooth sweetness of the potato and then the saltiness of the preserved lemon and brine of the olives.
It’s genius in a bowl and it’s a very grown up potato salad. It would work beautifully with any roast meal and would be especially good for a BBQ with the charcoaled meats. Or just served simply with a steak.
You know occasionally when you make something and you can’t believe how unbelievably good it is and how simple it is and you keep telling yourself and everyone else in hearing range how clever you are even though it wasn’t your idea? This is one of those.
And then you remember you have a blog so you tell a few more people.
Claudia Roden's Sweet Potato Salad
- 1 large onion chopped coarsely
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 500 g orange fleshed sweet potato peeled
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 6 or 7 green olives
- peel of 1/2 preserved lemon Claudia says it's optional but it's not really, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley I used coriander
Fry the onions in 2 tablespoons of the oil until golden.
Cut the sweet potatoes into cubes about 2.5cm-ish, add to the pan and barley cover with water. Add ginger, cumin, paprika, a little salt and 2 more tablespoons of oil.
Cook until the potato pieces are tender and the liquid is reduced to a sauce, turning the potatoes over once and keeping watch so they don't fall apart (this took about 10-15 minutes).
Serve at room temperature, mixed with the olives and preserved lemon peel if using and sprinkled with lemon juice, the remaining olive oil and parsley.
May’s book is Mrs Beaton’s Guide to Good Housekeeping which I definitely don’t have lurking on the bookshelf.
If you do then head over to the Cookbook Guru Guru us know what your favourite recipe is.