Sweet Potato Wedges with Almond Tahini

A couple of weeks ago we had my best friend and her husband come and stay for the weekend, and for my easy, mostly make-ahead menu I put together for us to enjoy around the kitchen table right by the fire between rounds of board games I made some chicken legs tossed with garlic salt and Ras el Hanout, the Greek-style Rainbow Beetroot Salad I was obsessed with all summer, and a couple of recipes Samit Packer and Itamar Srulovich demoed from their brilliant new book Chasing Smoke: Cooking Over Fire Around The Levant (ad) at Sarah Raven’s Cookery School at Perch Hill last month.

It’s a lovely book full of recipes to cook over the coals – or in the oven or stovetop if that is where the mood takes you – I’ve already been making the griddle breads flavoured with sumac and dried oregano every time people come, but it was the Sweet Potatoes with Almond Tahini and Smoked Almonds that blew me away on both occasions – and which was the favourite dish on the table of everyone eating, quite a feat for a vegan plateful at a table of omnivores.

At the demo we had the summer version of this dish, Grilled Peaches with Almond Tahini and Charred Endive and it utterly blew my mind – as self professed tahini hater (I know I know, I love toasted sesame in Asian applications, and you’d think I’d be genetically geared to adore the stuff like I am picked fish and matzo brei) – that you could make it with other nuts and seeds to create something I’ll actually like.

Samit and Itamar presented their recipe for almond tahini both at the demo and in their book as the sauce that makes the dish, and in this case it is totally the case: make the sauce to keep in the fridge, and it will make friends with anything you pair with it, it is just the case that at this time of year slowly roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect pairing, the whole dish finished off with a sprinkling of smoked almonds and a generous drizzle of my beloved date molasses.

The only changes I’ve really made to their recipe are simplifications: I served whole baked sweet potatoes, slightly torn apart on a big serving platter as it made things so much easier leaving the potatoes in their skins in the oven to just do their thing while the Uno tournament got way too competitive over on the dining room table, happily resting while I used the timer to do the chicken. However, as we were all helping ourselves when it was time to eat while the dish looked stunning, I figured it would actually be easier to feed different appetites from wedges so that is what I’ve done here. I’ve also done away with measurements for the smoked almonds and molasses, and added an alternative set of instructions for the tahini in case you’d rather soak the almonds overnight and get ahead rather than wait around for them while you could be getting ready for other things.

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Sweet Potato Wedges with Almond Tahini

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Soaking Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This delicious dish of roasted sweet potato wedges topped with a luxurious homemade almond tahini, smoked almonds and a drizzle of date molasses is the ultimate side dish for autumnal dinners.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Almond Tahini

  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) raw almonds
  • 4 tbsp light oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt

For the Sweet Potato Wedges

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp light oil
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • date molasses
  • handful smoked almonds

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 farenheit). Soak the almonds in a small bowl of boiling water for 30 minutes. Alternatively, leave them to soak overnight.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into rough, equal wedges and spread them out on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 tbsp of light oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper before roasting for 30 minutes until soft, charred and tender.
  3. To make the almond tahini, blitz the almonds into a rough paste in a food processor or bullet blender. Blitz in the oil a tablespoon at a time, followed by the garlic clove, peeled, the sherry vinegar and the sea salt. Finally, blitz in 80ml (4 1/2 tbsp) of ice water until the mixture is smooth. If you soaked the almonds overnight, you’ll only need half this amount to reach the desired consistency, but you can always add more if you want the tahini to be runnier! 
  4. Drizzle half the tahini across a serving platter. Arrange the sweet potato wedges before topping with the rest of the tahini, a generous drizzle of the date molasses and the smoked almonds, roughly chopped. 

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