After nearly three weeks of gray skies and late May chill, Andrew and I have found ourselves reverting to our pre-springtime selves – the sort of folk that like their meals warm and messy, hearty and belly filling. All served with a side of piping hot lemon ginger tea (or a hot toddy, in Andrew’s sake) and a hefty worn in shroud of the woolen variety. Taking a valiant, perhaps begrudging step away from my beloved soups and stews, giving our spoons and slurping muscles a night to themselves, a few extra minutes in the kitchen transformed some of our basic kitchen staples – potatoes, canned goods, avocado, and raw nuts, into exactly what we’d hoped for, with the added bonus of wild vibrancy and a fork full of nutrition. Requiring only one pan, one blender, a can opener, and about 30 seconds of active cooking time, I couldn’t be more excited to share my Baked Sweet Potato with Roasted Walnut Romesco. An antioxidant rich, immune boosting, and comfy cozy baked sweet potato piled high with ripe avocado and chickpeas, then smothered in this rich roasted red pepper, roasted garlic, roasted tomato, and walnut romesco, every bite is pure deliciousness. Making even better grab-and-heat leftovers, Andrew and I baked all six sweet potatoes in one go, reheating and assembling them into perfect little dreamboats throughout the workweek as meals permitted.
Baked Sweet Potato with Roasted Walnut Romesco [serves 6]
6 medium sweet potatoes, washed
1 head garlic
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can (14 ounces) diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 roasted red peppers (from jar)
½ cup raw walnuts + extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ ripe avocados, flesh cubed
1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6 tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a fork, pierce each sweet potato’s skin 4-5 times (going about ½ inch deep). Place potato on baking sheet. Trim about ¼ inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Drizzle exposed head with 1 teaspoon olive oil, then place garlic on baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until garlic and potatoes are fork tender and just beginning to caramelize. Remove from heat.
In a high speed blender, whiz 2 cloves of roasted garlic (the remainder of the head can be saved for a later date – perhaps smeared on crusty toast!), diced tomatoes, red peppers, ½ cup walnuts, vinegar, and paprika until very smooth. With the blender on its lowest setting, slowly drizzle in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, allowing the mixture to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To Assemble: Slice each potato lengthwise down its center (cutting about 2 inches deep) then press in on their ends to open them up. Fill each potato with equal amounts sliced avocado, chickpeas, and romesco, then sprinkle with chopped walnuts and parsley. Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving = 1 potato with toppings]
485 Calories, 14.7g Fat, 80g Carbohydrates, 17g Fiber, 28g Sugar, 12g Protein