Chili-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

When a recipe is so simple, I don’t think to blog it.  Yet the marriage of tastes make these sweet potato wedges sublime.  They also illustrate why the choice of herbs, spices and garnishes is so important in making a meal satisfying.

(Note: avoid this next paragraph and jump straight to the recipe if you just want the food and not the nerdy stuff)  Let’s take the basic roasted wedge: it’s sweet – almost cloyingly so, and very tender on the inside; pretty heavy fare.  Chili powder adds some spice or hotness to keep things moving while the tuber cooks.  After cooking, a bit of toasted walnut adds bitterness and crunch, lime zest and cilantro provide colour contrast and lightens the dish giving it “spring” – as does the sourness of a drizzle of lime juice.  The result is that your palate and body don’t feel bogged down by the oilier, heavier and sweeter starch.  Detailed analysis aside, it comes together to create a beautiful balance in your eyes and mouth.

Yield: 1 or 2 servings (usually 1, for breakfast, at my house – incidentally, Brendan Frasier’s The Thrive Diet  is what initially got me turned on to sweet potatoes wedges for breakfast)

What you need:

  • 1 long, slim sweet potato or yam, sliced lengthwise into thin wedges
  • coconut oil (or olive oil if you’re out of coconut)
  • chili powder (home-made preferred, that way you control the salt)
  • sea salt
  • fresh cilantro
  • toasted walnuts (or hazelnuts)
  • an organic lime, well washed

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Either massage a bit of coconut oil onto the wedges with your hands or lightly brush them with olive oil.  Lay everything in a single layer on a sheet pan or in a glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with chili powder and sea salt to taste (a tiny bit of salt and a more generous sprinkle of spice usually works best at our place).
  3. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until roasted to taste.  Turn the wedges about half-way through the cooking.
  4. When the potatoes are almost done cooking, coarsely chop the walnuts and cilantro together in a quantity appropriate to your eyes and belly.
  5. Place the finished wedges on a serving plate, top with the chopped herb and nut mixture.  Use a zester to add lime zest overtop the wedges.  Cut a wedge from the lime and squeeze the juice over the whole plate of yumminess.
  6. Dig in.

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