Are you a sweet potato person? What I am asking is that when you go to a restaurant, do you look at the menu and if you spot sweet potato then that is the dish you order?
Oh Yes! Me too!
Sadly most cafes around here only offer sweet potato wedges (where is your sense of adventure chefs?) which I eventually always end up ordering. Cannot resist roasted sweet potato! But I am also a cauliflower, mushroom, avocado, chickpea, and spinach person. If a dish has any of these, God help me, I want to order everything on the menu!
So when I see a recipe in a cookbook I love dearly that has more than one of my favourite ingredients, I just want to cook it. My friend Hetty's second cookbook Neighbourhood is as gorgeous as her first with an abundance of nourishing, flavour-packed salads that look utterly appetising and inviting. I have been cooking from Hetty's book for the past couple of months and a lot of the recipes use harissa. Like this Cumin Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Harissa Chickpeas.
So, I first made my homemade harissa. My harissa was a well-informed condiment that came together after marrying the best advice from recipes by Hetty, Smitten Kitchen and Ottolenghi. The resulting harissa was slightly spicier with a really good warming hit of heat. The sweet potato salad itself is super quick to make and really simple but the flavours are out of this world. It makes for a very satisfying meal indeed. Similar to these spicy Moroccan Chickpeas I have been making for years, it is fantastic hot or cold which means your lunchbox and dinner are sorted.
I cannot count the number of times I have roasted sweet potato. It is so versatile and you can always shake up the marinade to suit either a Mediterranean salad or a Mexican taco dish in an instant. I like keeping the skin on, it helps keep the sweet potato firm while holding its shape after roasting. It also adds more texture and subtle smokiness. I always add garlic, cinnamon and salt to the sweet potato before roasting. It tastes amazing with these little additions.
Because this recipe uses harissa, I would really urge you to try making this harissa recipe. It is perfect for this salad, not at all spicy but with an incredible depth of flavour. If you are using store-bought harissa, go easy on it. Reduce it to just a tablespoon or two in the recipe otherwise, it might be too hot. And by all means, serve it with extra harissa on the side.
Don't forget to check out Hetty's book Neighbourhood for more plant-based goodness and if you make this salad and enjoy it, please do leave a rating/feedback in the comments below. Lastly, please share your creations with me by tagging #cookrepublic. I love seeing what you are cooking from the blog! x
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ROASTED SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH HARISSA CHICKPEAS
for the sweet potato
- 3 (750 g) medium sweet potatoes, washed peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
for the salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 500 g cooked chickpeas, approximately 2 cans, rinsed and drained
- 4 tablespoons harissa paste, or fermented chilli paste
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves
- 120 g baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons toasted flaked almonds, to serve
- lemon wedges, to serve
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C (convention)/180°C (fan-forced/convection). Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper.
- Place all ingredients for the sweet potato in a medium bowl and toss to coat evenly. Spread sweet potato on the prepared sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium wok or frying pan. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes. Reduce heat and cook until onions are caramelized. Add the chickpeas, harissa and lemon juice. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes until coated and heated thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir through the sweet potato, parsley and coriander. Check for seasoning and adjust with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
- Arrange spinach leaves in serving bowls, top with the warm sweet potato and chickpea salad. Garnish with almonds and serve with lemon wedges.