I’ve called it “salad”, but in all honesty, this delicious dish is so much nicer served at room temperature.
Perfect for my vegan friends, it also makes a perfectly delicious side dish, and packs well for lunch boxes.
Quantities can be loosely interpreted :the magic comes from the superb combination of flavours, lovingly combined into a healthful, delicious dish that pleases all the senses.
1kg sweet potato
1 large red capsicum
1/2 cup raw quinoa. See note.
3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
2 crushed cloves of local garlic
1 cup of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
Juice of 2 lemons
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Note: the quinoa must be soaked in cold water for an hour or so before cooking, so take this into account. Cooking is simples! Add to boiling water, and cook rapidly until tender, around 20 minutes. Drain and whilst still in the sieve/colander, run cold water over to rapidly cool and refresh. Drain well and set aside.
Ok, making the delicious salad.
Quinoa is done, so onto the next stage.
First things first.
Heat the oven to 200C, and put the quinoa in cold water to soak.
Get a big bowl, and fill it with cold water and a splash of lemon juice. This is for your sweet potatoes. If you drop them into this lemon water as you peel them, the rate at which they’ll oxidise and get those ugly black spots will be greatly reduced.
If your coconut oil is solid, gently melt. I usually do this by sitting a cup with my oil in it, in a bowl of boiling water.
Peel and chop your sweet potato, dropping the pieces into the lemon water as you go.
Don’t make the pieces too small, they’ll up falling apart on you.
When they are all done, dry off with a tea towel and spread out, in a single layer (or close enough to) in a roasting pan.
You don’t have to be too anxious about the single layer thing. Just remember, too much potato jumbled up will release more moisture, which means more steam, which ultimately means not so much roasted, as boiled sweet potato.
The dry heat of the oven needs a chance to caress and love on as much surface area of your potato as possible.
Sprinkle the potato with salt and pepper.
Pour over your oil, and using your hands, make sure each piece in the pan is coated. Just smile and jumble them all about. The oil will be lovely for your hands too. Bonus.
Into the oven, maybe 1 hour, maybe 40 minutes. Life’s like that, so many variables…
How long they take doesn’t matter, and can’t really be nailed down, but, you’ll know. The edges will be a little charred in places, and the insides, tender.
To stop them sticking, and to turn them during cooking, don’t bother trying to use tongs, you’ll break them up, and upset yourself.
Just grab the pan and carefully, but decisively shake. Loosens and turns perfectly.
While they’re roasting, wash and cut your capsicum into fairly generous strips.
You want to roast the capsicum for 20 – 30 minutes, so use your judgement and toss it in with the potatoes when the time is right.
When the vegetables are cooked, and straight out of the oven, add the garlic and half of the parsley.
The residual heat is enough to take the raw edge off the garlic and wilt the parsley.
Tip over the cooked quinoa and pour over the lemon juice.
Using your hands, again, gently, but thoroughly combine.
Taste it, see if it needs anything.
More salt or pepper?
Maybe more lemon?
Add as you see fit. This is your dish, it belongs to you. Make it taste the way you want it to taste.
All that is left for you to do now is to tip it out onto a platter and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
Serve with love.
Have a wonderful week. Eat beautiful, because you are what you eat.
’till next time