Tuesday, 25 May 2010


I claim complete authorship of the following recipe, and in an entirely immodest way. It came about somewhat accidentally: with the recent heatwave, I have been cooking in the garden, on the barbecue. I love cooking and eating outside, enjoying a chilled glass of something while the food sizzles on the grill (and I'm a purist about barbecues: I have a Weber kettle barbecue and cook over charcoal). On the evening of the first day of the heatwave, I spatchcocked a chicken and immersed it in a Turkish-style marinade for a few hours before committing it to the coals. I served it with saksuka, a Turkish cooked salad of aubergine, red pepper, garlic and tomatoes, Ottolenghi's yoghurt sauce (see separate post) and couscous with sweet onions. Sadly, by Monday evening the weather was on the turn and I shivered in the cooling breeze, a Margarita in one hand, as I cooked tuna and prawn kebabs. I put a sweet potato wrapped in tin foil in the bottom of the barbecue and forgot about it. I was going to serve it with the tuna and prawn kebabs, but made an avocado salsa instead. So the sweet potato rested in the barbecue as it cooled and it was only when I hung the washing out this morning, that I saw it and remembered..... and had an idea for a dish.....


1 large sweet potato, wrapped in foil and baked in a hot oven or on the barbecue until soft
1 tbsps Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche
Pinch of salt, or to taste
A good lug of olive oil
1 tsp Belazu smoked harissa paste
1 large clove of garlic, crushed

Put everything in the food processor and whizz to a smooth paste. Check for seasoning. If you have roasted the potato in the oven, you might want to use some Spanish smoked paprika to enhance the smoked flavour. Serve with pitta bread or similar.

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