Updated September 16, 2022
Sometimes you want the tasty ease of baked sweet potatoes, but a full meal is required. This dish, inspired by an original at the Minimalist Baker, shoots the gap quite nicely.
Even better, the prep is à la carte, and can be easily done in advance. You can do some in the morning and finish in the evening, or you can make the confit on Thursday and the tahini sauce on Friday and then assemble with a finishing touch on Saturday. It’s also very easily scaled up if you need to feed a lot of people.
The Sweet Potatoes
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 pound leeks
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
Baked Chick Peas
2 cups cooked chickpeas (approximately 1 can) rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon corn starch
Garlic Tahini Sauce
1/2 cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried parsley (1 tablespoon minced if you have it fresh)
3 cloves crushed garlic
water to desired consistency
Staging Notes: This recipe is optimized for same-evening construction. If you’re looking to prepare parts of it ahead of time, focus on the the leek confit and the garlic tahini sauce.
1Make the leek confit. What Dana Velden wrote over at TheKitchn in 2012 is still true today: “There is no recipe because I never use a recipe for my leek confit. You really don’t need one.” So you can use hers, or mine. Your refresher course: Chop up a double fistful of leeks, half a cup of fat, a dash of water, and low heat.
2In a bowl combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt. Whisk together. Add water a tablespoon at a time, blending thoroughly before you add more. You don’t want too much water but it will thicken up over time, so be prepared to adjust the water right before serving. Add the parsley closer to serving, particularly if making a day ahead.
3Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
4Clean your potatoes and cut in half, length wise. (Sweet potatoes can get a little blotchy, and it’s okay to trim that skin off, but by all means leave as much of the nutritious and delicious skin on.) If you’re dealing with really massive sweet potatoes, consider cutting it in thirds. Pour a small dollop of olive oil on a corner of your baking sheet and dip the cut side of your sweet potatoes, then place face down on your baking sheet. If you need to minimize hands on prep, and your sweet potatoes are of uniform size, you can leave them whole and bake them longer, then cut them in half. If they’re the adorably skinny, not-much-larger-than-a-large-carrot variety offered by some smaller growers, definitely bake them whole, then fork split them like a baked potato. Whether whole or halved, you do want them tender when pierced by a fork.
5Rinse the cooked garbanzo beans and drain them well. Some people pat them dry but that seems wasteful; better to give yourself a little extra time to spread them out on the baking sheet and allow them to air dry a bit. Mix the spices and the corn starch in a medium bowl. Add the beans and toss to cover. Add the oil and toss again. Place in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes, keeping an eye that they don’t get too crispy.
6Assemble individual servings, or set out the ingredients buffet style.