This was supposed to be Thursday night’s dinner but we were seduced by some Minervois and French food in La Cave instead. Thankfully it works just as well on a Friday night! The spicy sweet potatoes make this a main meal salad but you could also serve it as a side to some barbecued meat or even a starter.
Sweet potato salad – to serve 8 (we adjusted quantities to serve 2)
- 4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds, crushed with a pestle and mortar
- 3 dried chillies, crumbled 0r some chilli flakes
- 4 scallions
- 400g vine tomatoes
- a small bunch of basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar
- 100g watercress
- 200g feta cheese
- a handful of mixed seeds, toasted (we used pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds)
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roughly chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks then toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, the crushed cumin and chillies until well coated. Put on a baking tray and roast for about 25 minutes or until they are soft inside and crispy outside. Let them cool a bit.
Roughly chop the scallions and tomatoes and add to a bowl with the basil leaves. Dress with a good splash of balsamic vinegar and twice as much good quality olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Squidge the sweet potato on to a big platter and top with the dressed onions and tomatoes. Pile the watercress on top and crumble over the feta. Drizzle some more olive oil over and sprinkle with the toasted nuts. Delicious!
(Original recipe by Jamie Oliver for Sainsbury’s magazine, August 2009)
Wine suggestion: try a white wine with good food ability and fresh fruit flavours. We chose a white Bordeaux, G de Guiraud, the dry white wine made by famous Sauternes producer Chateau Guiraud. The Semillon gives it a great food friendliness and structure to stand up to the many flavours in the salad, while the Sauvignon Blanc brings a fruitiness which balances the spicy chilli flavours.