This recipe was recommended by my daughter-in-law to be (I love saying this … soon I’ll get to drop the “to be”) who had it at a friend’s house. As it turns out, it is from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, one of my favorite cookbooks. Frequently, his recipes are pretty time-consuming, but this one wasn’t bad. And the salad tasted just as wonderful two days later when I served the leftovers atop some spring mix lettuces.
This is a tasty and beautiful summertime salad. Make it now while figs are plentiful!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Fig Salad
4 small sweet potatoes
5 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
12 green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-in segments
1/2 jalapeño chili, thinly sliced (use a whole chili to increase the temperature)
6 ripe figs, quartered
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise, and then cut each half again into 3 long wedges. Mix with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and some black pepper. Spread the wedges out, skin side down, on a baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.
Place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, until it thickens. Be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the vinegar is still runnier than honey; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in a drop of water before serving if the reduction becomes too thick to drizzle.
Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the green onions and chili. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the onions or chili. Spoon the oil, onions, and chili over the sweet potatoes. Place the figs among the wedges, and then drizzle the balsamic reduction on top.
Serve at room temperature.