I’m Baaa – aaccCKK!
That’s right, baby – I’m back! I was away for way way too long, and I’m so happy to be in my brand new kitchen! Thanks for your patience during my overly long va-ca from the blog. My husband and I built a new condo this summer and between the selling of our old home, being stuck in ‘Hotel Hell’ for a month while our new condo was completed, and then unboxing everything…. ugh! Moving sucks! Did you know that most folks on average move every 5 years? That’s just crazy. I’m never moving again. Not ’til the final move, that is. Somebody else can worry about that.
But until then…I’ll be making these Gingered Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pea Basil Garlic Purée on a rotation because they are simple, amazingly yum, and super showy. They are oil free, full of vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber rich, and all with a protein boost of pea power! Check out that green!
I started thinking about putting this recipe together while being stuck in an extended stay hotel that was chosen for its ‘gourmet kitchen.’ Note: ‘gourmet kitchen’ does not equal a microwave and a glass cooktop that won’t get hot enough to boil water. Not for me anyway. So we ate warmed up take-out and I dreamed of a dish that utilized my my wonderful new gift – a handmade Japanese Chef’s Knife! Yep! My first professional knife. My husband surprised me while I was standing in a puddle of packing boxes. I immediately loved it and wanted to break it out and make something. Sadly, the kitchen was off-limits as everything had to be staged and show ready at all times. God, I hate moving. Have I told you that?
Anyway, I had to put this gorgeous knife back in its own bamboo box, and right into the box I was already working on filling up. I wanted to make something that would show off my new prized possession, and be gorgeous and showy, but also be super easy to put together. Maybe it was the magic of the Japanese craftsman who fashioned my knife, but this recipe came out exactly as I envisioned! I so aaabbbsolutely love when that happens.
It’s super simple.
Peeled sweet potatoes – yes, peeled. That way you can eat it all and not have to pick around an inedible skin. Then go ahead and line up some wooden spoon handles on either side and make even slices for that Hasselback look. The spoon handles act as a bumper guide so you don’t cut entirely through the potato. I did anyway with this new super sharp knife, but no worries. It all eats the same. Just put it back and bake as normal and no one will be the wiser. ‘Hasselbacking’ is not necessary at all but just looks like you spent tons of time of this elegant dish when you really didn’t. Then microwave the potatoes until they are almost done. This speeds up the cooking time.
While the spuds are in the microwave, let’s make the spice rub. It’s also easy: tahini, garlic powder, powdered ginger, salt. Into a small bowl and mix. Ta-daaa!
You can certainly adjust the spices to your own liking. Next time I’m gonna try a bit more ginger, but it was so delicious. When out of the microwave and almost fork tender, very carefully rub a thin layer of this tahini seasoning all over the potatoes. The recipe amounts I give are for 2 large-ish sweet potatoes, but if you are baking more, then certainly increase the amount. I keep my tahini in the fridge so you may want to warm slightly to make it a bit more workable. If your tahini like mine is in a metal tin, make sure you remove the needed amount to a microwave safe bowl. Then bake at 375 degrees for another 30-40 minutes. You want to get a nice crust on those potatoes and make sure they are completely done inside.
Tried a little extra tahini on this one after I pulled from the oven. It wasn’t completely done so I put back in the oven for another 10 minutes and the result was this yummy seasoned tahini crust. Just what I wanted!
Now for the pea green magic. Why peas? Easy. For some reason, whenever we had sweet potatoes I always paired it with green peas. I just love the flavor combo. So I thought…pea purée drizzled over hasselbacks. Ooooo…pretty! My first attempt was…not so much. It involved sautéed onions and garlic in the mix which sadly took the sheen off the green. It resulted in an extremely flavorful, but more like puréed baby food peas. My husband who is not a pea lover at all actually loved this version and asked for more. But all of the va-va-vaaa – vooooom…was kaput. Back to the drawing board, or blender as it was.
Initially, I envisioned sprinkling dried basil over the top but when my first attempt didn’t give me the look I was going for, I thought why don’t I get fresh basil and blend it with the peas.
I still don’t have a blender. Universe…bring me a Vitamix! So my trusty immersion blender to the rescue. Cooked peas, fresh basil leaves, minced garlic, and salt to taste all got blended into a vibrant green! Boom! Just what I wanted. I did thin it a bit with some veggie broth, but go with what you prefer – thicker or thinner. Get your drizzle on! Gingered Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pea Basil Garlic Purée.
Crispy topped sweet potatoes with a stripe of pea protein. I cannot tell you how good these were. Beautiful. Easy. Delicious.
How did I make Gingered Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pea Basil Garlic Purée…healthier?:
- “Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.” ~ whfoods.org
- Sweet potatoes are a unique starchy food because their fiber content actually improves blood sugar regulation.
- Peas are a fiber and plant powered protein powerhouse. One cup of peas has 8.5 grams of protein! That is twice as much protein as a tablespoon of peanut butter. Wowza! Also brings 9 grams of fiber, which will help keep your full longer.
- Tahini. Can I tell you how much I adore tahini? Tahini is ground sesame seeds. Yep. It is sesame seed butter. It is primary used in hummus but I thought it would be a great way to add some healthy fat: mostly polyunsaturated fat which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood (LDL) similar to olive oil. About half the fat in tahini is made up of two beneficial compounds: sesamin and sesamolin which are very beneficial to the cardiovascular system.
- 2 medium to large sweet potatoes, cleaned and peeled. Hasselback sliced make a beautiful presentation, but just cleaned and peeled is fine also
- ¼ -1/2 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp granulated garlic powder
- ½ - 1 tbsp tahini, room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave
- Salt to taste. I used ¼ tsp which was a bit salty, but adjust for your preferences.
- ⅓ bag of frozen peas, heated
- ½ cup of fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- 1 - 2 tsp minced garlic
- salt to taste
- Optional: veggie broth to thin the Pea Basil Garlic Purée
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Clean and peel your sweet potatoes and remove any dark spots. If you choose, place wooden spoon handles on either side of your potato, and carefully make evenly spaced cuts partially through the potato. If you accidentally cut completely through the potato, all is not lost, just place back together on the pan when you're ready to bake.
- Microwave your sweet potatoes, until almost done, about 8 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potatoes and power of your microwave. This step just gets dinner on the table sooner and doesn't dry out the potato as much as baking in the oven the entire time.
- Make your seasoning rub while your potatoes cook: add ground ginger, garlic powder, tahini, and salt to a small bowl and mix. To make the mix thinner and more spreadable, slightly warm your tahini.
- When potatoes are almost fork tender, very carefully spread an even layer of the seasoning rub all over the outside of the potatoes.
- Place potatoes spaced apart on a baking sheet and bake until completely fork tender and the tahini mixture has formed a nice crust on top.
- Steam cook your bag of peas, either the entire bag and you can serve additional peas or just the ⅓ of the bag.
- Place the peas, basil, garlic, and salt in a blender or immersion blender cup and blend until completely puréed. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed or more garlic to taste. Keep warm.
- When potatoes are fork tender and are beautifully crusted, remove from the oven. Optional: I found that adding a bit more tahini on the top of the potatoes about 10 minutes before finished baking gave me a thicker crusting on top.
- Drizzle the warm Pea Basil Garlic Purée over top of the potatoes and serve immediately.
The post Gingered Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pea Basil Garlic Purée appeared first on Designing Vegan. If you make these spectacular spuds, give me a shout out when you post your photos to Instagram or Facebook Please remember to tag it with #designingvegan because I would love to see it!
One more note: while I see this as a spectacularly elegant, beautiful side dish…Halloween is right around the corner. Do you have some kids who won’t eat their veggies? Maybe this Pea Basil Garlic Purée is ghostly green slime! See if they go for it! Lemme know.
More potato recipes you might like:
- Roast Potato with Broccoli and Asparagus in Garlic White Wine Sauce
- Vegan ‘Pork’ and Sauerkraut Potato Skins
- Dreams of Grill Season: Smoky Black Beans, Corn, and Avocado with Cilantro Lime
- Paprika Scalloped Potatoes (Vegan)