Saturday, 9 October 2010

Sweet potato chips with coriander pesto

I’ve been a rather naughty girl this week, digressing from the path of local, regional or British grown vegetables. First it was D with his request of okra. Although imported okra is available all year round, the okra peak season is the summer which we just missed of course. Now its my turn with the sweet potato. Even though Autumn sees the start of sweet potato season, this vegetable is not mass produced in the U.K, much of it is imported from the States. I decided I was not going to miss out on this seasonal import, the way I had just missed out on the sweet juicy mango.

One of my favourite ways to eat sweet potato is as oven baked chips. These were introduced to me by the innovative vegetarian cook Nadine Abensur. Not literally of course, but through her cookbooks. In 2000, her recipes, cookbooks and way of cooking introduced me to a new way of cooking, eating and enjoying vegetables. Nadine Abensur style of cooking also introduced me to other world flavours such as sumac, za’atar, ras el hanout and tahini, the way Yotom Ottolenghi does now, 10 years on.
Nadines sweet potato chips are made quite simply with just a light seasoning of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and served with a coriander pesto which I've enjoyed many times, but the ones I enjoyed earlier today were spiced up a notch. The heat warmth was welcomed after being bish bashed a little by the blustery wind outside.

I think this spice coating would work well with slathered over sliced pumpkin and squash too. So for those of you have some, why not give it a go.
Spiced Sweet potato chips with coriander pesto
Serves 2 greedy people or 4 with accompaniments
500g sweet potatoes
For the spice paste
1 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves garlic
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
8 black peppercorns
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large wedges. Put all the dry ingredients for the spice paste into a mortar and grind together as fine as you can get. Then add the oil and lemon juice and mix well. Toss the sweet potatoes in the spice paste, making sure they are well coated. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve these either with chilli jam or coriander pesto (recipe below).
Coriander pesto

About 160g coriander, leaves only
2 tablespoons whole almonds (I used almond flakes as that’s all I had)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
2 green chillies, chopped
Salt to taste
Chop the coriander with a very sharp knife. Pound the almonds in a pestle and mortar or chop in a food processor. Mix these two ingredients with the garlic and then add the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt. Adapted from the Cranks Fast Food.


  1. This looks really good. My son's love sweet potato's! They call them, "Orange potato's."

  2. What a unique combo! I really love your idea. Yummy!



  3. I hear ya: things like sweet potatoes and okra are very rarely (if ever) available locally in my northern neck of the woods.

    You introduced me to za'atar, and I recently learnt what ras al hanout is...can't wait to try a version of these.

    Looks and sounds like a delicious pairing.

  4. Mmmmmmm, thanks for sharing this. Here in NZ we have the sweet potato called Kumara and I have loads of coriander in my garden so this recipe is ideal!

  5. The recipe looks great Mangocheeks!

    I often think about mango and globalization. The fact is that when you have tasted a mango you cannot go back (or at least, me!). Mango is my favourite fruit, and my son's too! And my husband's! But it doesn't grow in NZ or Italy... sometimes I cannot resist and I need to buy it... yesterday I even bought some canned mango pulp from the Indian shop to make lassi, we were all craving for it. Of course that too was imported, from India!

    But if I keep it as a treat... mostly I just try to concentrate on not buying foreign fruit that can grow locally.

  6. Thank you Alissa.
    I think I too will start calling these spiced "Orange potato's."

    Thank you Rosa.

    Thanks Rose.
    Realy enjoyed reading your comment :)

    Cabbage Tree Farm.
    Thank you. I do hope you enjoy this recipe, evenmore that the ingredients have come straight from your own patch :)

    Thank you Alessandra.
    I really enjoyed reading how your family loves managoes and your thinking behind overseas fruit. I guess I am the same.

    You are so good to have kept an eye on fresh mangoes. I know if I was with my mother I would have eaten my fair share of mangoes, but not this year and I also missed out last year would you believe.

    Now you mention it, I think I may have a tin of mango pupl in my cupboard too, I must check it out. Probably past its sell by date, but i'll check.

    I agree with you such exotic foods are treats.

  7. Wow, these look great and easy to make! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Now I can explore your yummy looking food!

  8. YUM! Really like roasted sweet potatoes, but wouldn't think to combine them with pesto- a great idea!

  9. ooo yummy! I love sweet potato chips but I would have never thought of having them with pesto!

  10. Thank you so, so much Lee and Welcome. so glad that you've been happy exploring my blog :)

    Thank you Vegetarian Girl.
    Better than tomato sauce I think!

  11. Thank you FastestIndian.
    Coriander pesto too - yum. I am coriander crazy.

  12. I LOVE sweet potato chips, but what a great idea for a dipping sauce! Can't wait to try this.

  13. Thank you for your comment. So pleased that you like the sauce Culinarian.

  14. The food is looking realy delicous; thanks for sharing the recipe. I also wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and your gracious comment. Have a great weekend!

  15. oh you should try growing sweet potato! i know the growing season is shorter but as an oregonian, i have seen it done here - you just start the slip indoors and let it start to vine inside before you put it in the's my favvvvvorite food :)

  16. Thanks EcoGrrl.
    I may give it a go in the future, when I have more growing space.

  17. Ohhhh man! Wish I saw your blog and THIS RECIPE before dinner tonight!! Looks awesome!

  18. I just got 4 pounds of sweet potatoes today from my CSA. I am going to try this recipe. It looks simply divine.

  19. Thank you Vegetarian Hostess.
    Hope you enjoy.


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