I’ve been stalking the Plenty cookbook like a lion in the brush, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
It’s been a challenge, holding out for a good excuse to buy it. I was caught off guard at Anthropology one Saturday, flipping through the pages and salivating at the sight of Sweet Winter Slaw or Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato. I should be safe here… but I wasn’t. I convinced myself I didn’t need another cookbook right now.
As the holidays approached, I realized the time had come, it was the perfect Christmas gift… thank you dad. It has been sitting on my counter for three weeks now, the pages marked with florescent strips of sticky paper. “Recipes I want to try”… I secretly say to myself when I glance at the book propped next to my wine rack. New Years Eve was the perfect time to open those thick glossy pages and pick something simple yet interesting. The recipe is called Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Creme Fraiche. The host of our NYE party can’t digest fat, so I switched the creme fraiche to non-fat greek yogurt and the picture looked like yams instead of sweet potatoes, so I went with yam.
How did it go over? Very well! Even my friend Jake, who lives on cheeseburgers, Mountain Dew and Bud Light, liked it. Side note… last year I brought the raw cocoa date truffles to a summer party. He popped one in his mouth and promptly spit it out into his hand.
“What is this?!?!?!” he asked, coughing. “What’s the brown powder stuff?”
“Cocoa powder,” I answered. He was not amused.
So with a few minor substitutions I pass this recipe along… if you’re serving it as a party appetizer, you might want to slice the yam wedges in half so it feels like less of a commitment to the chatty party goer.
Serves 4 as a side
3 medium sweet potatoes or yams (about 2 lbs)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 fresh red chile, finely diced
1 cup cilantro, leaves picked
1/2 lemongrass stalk
3/4 cup freme fraiche or greek yogurt
grated zest and juice of 2 limes
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400*F. Wash the potatoes but don’t peel them. Cut each lengthways in half. Cut again lengthways into quarters and then once more in the same way, so you are left in the end with eight long wedges.
Place them in a roasting pan, sprayed with non-stick or lined with parchment brushed with oil. Brush the wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with coriander and salt. Roast for about 25 minutes or until they are tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. (The wedges can be eaten warm or at room temperature.)
To make the dipping sauce: (For the lemongrass, I used the microplane to achieve a super fine consistency. You can also use a spice grinder.) Whisk together all ingredients for the dipping sauce and set aside.
When ready to serve, place the wedges on a large, flat serving dish. Sprinkle with the diced chile and cilantro leaves, serve with the sauce on the side.
Keywords: Vegetarian, Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi, Appetizer, Side Dish, Kids Food