Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad

This is a recipe from an AMAZING cookbook called Arabesque. Mike and I have drooled over this cookbook on numerous visits to Barnes and Noble, but for some reason never kicked down the cash to get our own copy. About a week ago, Mike decided to get it from the library, but of course our little county library doesn’t have it so it had to be brought up from Santa Maria. After shelling out 50 cents to get it here, I think we’ve both realized it’s a must-purchase.

The book has three sections covering foods from Morocco, Lebanon, and Turkey (all places I really want to visit. Weird.) This was the first recipe I attempted but definitely won’t be the last. It combines flavors I’ve never thought of as going together, but it works! I let it stand at room temperature about an hour before I ate it, and in that time the flavors came together perfectly. I haven’t had much Moroccan food in my life, but after trying this, I definitely think it’s time for that to change!

(adapted from Arabesque)

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
8 green olives, halved

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1″ cubes.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven and add the onion. Cook until soft and golden, about 6 mintues. Add the sweet potato pieces, paprika, cumin, ginger and and enough water to just cover them. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender but not falling apart. By this point the liquid should be thickened into a sauce. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a bowl, leaving excess liquid behind.

Add the lemon juice, a few pinches of salt, parsley and olives, and toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let sit for about an hour before serving if possible.

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