In my book, sweet potatoes are an absolute godsend. Delectable in their rich sweetness, they are also wonderfully low maintenance – cut them into wedges and shove them in the oven, and you’ve got yourself an exquisite little treat (beats a normal potato by miles).
For a while now, my favourite sweet potato dish has been – ta-da – a creation of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s. His weird and wonderful combination of sweet potato, garlic, chili, lime and peanut butter has a special place in my heart (or is my stomach?), and I dearly recommend you try it. Mind you, the peanut butter combo is not for everyone. And this is why I wanted to experiment with a different sweet potato pairing.
‘Rösti’ is a patty made chiefly from grated potatoes, a traditional Swiss breakfast, apparently, but in restaurants in Germany you get them as a lunch or side dish, too. Here, the crisp surface of the rösti contrasts nicely with the soft creamy goat’s cheese – and you’ve got the heat of the chili and the acidity of the lime to cut that sweetness of the potato. I think I have a new sweet potato favourite…
Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as a main:
600 g sweet potatoes
1 large onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1 red chili, seeds removed
zest and juice of 2 limes
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon plain flour
50 g goat’s cheese
1 bag peppery salad leaves, such as rocket or watercress
1. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees celsius.
2. Peel and then grate the sweet potatoes coarsely. Place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out any liquid, then transfer to a big bowl.
3. Chop the onion, garlic and chili finely. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chili and fry for a couple more minutes.
4. Add the onion mix to the bowl of grated sweet potato, add lime zest, beaten eggs and flour and stir well to combine. Add salt and pepper.
5. Now use your hands to shape 4-5 little patties and place them on a baking tray with baking parchment. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
6. Crumble the goat’s cheese over the warm röstis and serve with salad, and perhaps a loaf of good bread.