Baked sweet potatoes with zingy grilled broccoli and a crunchy cucumber salad

A nice way to jazz up some sweet potatoes if you’re stuck for ideas.

Ingredients


Broccoli
  • 1 kg broccoli (approx 2 heads)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2 red chillis (de-seeded and thinly sliced)
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon

Baked sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 3 sweet potatoes (a portion per person)
  • 2 red chillis (cut in half, de-seeding optional)
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 2 tblsp coriander (chopped)
  • salt and pepper

Crunchy cucumber salad
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 a loaf of sourdough or a stale baguette, cut into cubes
  • 2 tblsp red wine vinegar
  • a few splashes of tabasco
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 large cucumber (peeled, roughly chopped)
  • 1 red onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • a small bunch of cherry tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 100 g pitted black olives
  • 2 tblsp toasted nuts (roughly chopped, hazelnuts work well)
  • a small bunch of roughly-chopped parsley

Method

Char-grilled broccoli with lemon, chili and garlic
  1. Separate the broccoli into little florets. Have a colander ready in your sink. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for just one minute. Drain and rinse in plenty of cold water, until the florets are genuinely cold.
  2. Drain well and put in the fridge to truly cool down and dry off further. Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chillis. Cook very gently for a few minutes until the garlic is soft and set aside. When the broccoli is dry, toss in a bowl with the remaining olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper.
  3. Heat up a char-grill or heavy based frying pan until smoking and char-grill the broccoli in batches until nicely charred in parts. Put them back into a large mixing bowl and when they’re all done, toss with the lemon juice and the chilli & garlic oil. This tastes great when served warm or at room temperature, and doesn’t take kindly to being left in the fridge overnight!
Baked sweet potatoes with lemon & chilli
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Wash the spuds, leave the skin on and chop in half, and then into quarters or eighths, depending on their size. You want chunky wedges.
  2. Drizzle with some olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes until tender and starting to brown.
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce. Remove the skin of the lemon, trying not to get too much bitter white flesh.
  4. You really do need as much lemon as possible, so take your time and use a small, sharp knife.
  5. Whizz all the ingredients together and check the seasoning. Drizzle onto the warm potatoes and serve.
Crunchy cucumber salad
  1. Bake the chunks of bread in an oven at 150°C until golden brown. Allow to cool fully.
  2. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, Tabasco and garlic together.
  3. Season well. Mix the remaining ingredients together and add the dressing. Mix well and serve.

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