Roasted Sweet Potato with Tahini Sauce, Hazelnuts, and Za'atar
The sweet potato is well-loved for its soft, brightly-colored flesh, enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including purée, as fries, in soup, served "au gratin", and even stuffed! The orange flesh of the sweet potato is a nutritional superstar. One serving contains four times the daily recommended intake of beta-carotene. This highly-touted antioxidant contains plenty of vitamin A, and also contributes to healthy skin, eyes, and hair. Sweet potatoes also have a low glycemic index, which makes them great for those with diabetes. When cooked in the oven, sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet flavour and rich texture. Served with a salad, they make for a filling and nutritious meal. This recipe includes crunchy roasted hazelnuts that provide a great contrast with the soft, roasted sweet potato. Za'atar is a spice blend that mixes dried thyme, oregano, savoury, sesame seeds, and sumac. It can easily be found in shops that specialize in spices, or in organic grocery stores.
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Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake 30 minutes.
While sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare tahini sauce according to recipe. Lightly toast hazelnuts, either in a frying pan or on a baking sheet. Coarsely chop once they've cooled down. Chop the cilantro.
Once sweet potatoes are done, cut in half lengthwise and then again crosswise. Drizzle with olive oil, season flesh with salt and pepper, and spoon on tahini sauce. Before serving, dust with za'atar and sprinkle with hazelnuts and cilantro.