I love sweet potatoes so it’s an added bonus that they are really good for us too: highly nutritious and full of antioxidants. When I fancy a baked potato, I’m more likely to bake a sweet one than, say, a Maris Piper. The less healthy bit is that I love to cut it open and put a great big lump of butter in middle and then grate a nice lot of black pepper over the top.
I also like dips and as with my Butter Bean Dip, they are often a variation of hummus, but using beans instead of chick peas. However, I learnt from Moro East (and one of my own books in the Top Ten Cookery Books series) that I needn’t confine myself to some kind of bean or pulse when making dips with tahini and yesterday I decided to make one with sweet potato. I had in mind it would be nice in the fridge for lunch for the next couple of days, as I have a busy schedule. But when it came to it, it was so delicious I took a big spoonful of it as a vegetable with some salmon and broccoli I was having for supper, and it worked very well.
Sweet Potato Dip
Bake a large (400g) sweet potato in a 200/180 Fan oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s done when a knife slips into it easily and you can tell it’s soft inside. Remove from the oven and make a slit down one side; you should then be able to pull away a thin layer of skin. Put the flesh of the potato into a food processor and add half teaspoon cumin seeds (lightly toasted first and ground), 2 tablespoons of tahini, juice of half a lemon, 1 crushed garlic clove and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk it all together and then, with the food processor running, slowly add 100ml extra virgin olive oil as if you were making mayonnaise. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle over a little olive oil and, if you like, lightly toast some pine nuts and add them too.
It has such a lovely, sweet, earthy taste with just a hint of the smoked flavour from baking the potatoes till the skin is slightly blackened. Serve it with crudites and some bread or pitta; or, as I did as a side dish. It will keep, covered, in the fridge for three or four days.