This scrumptious sweet potato bake is really deliciously simple….this is the meal I prepared for my chat with @ottolenghi .Yotam thrilled me beyond belief by saying that they still labelled it ‘ Danielle’s Sweet potato Gratin, when they served it in any of the shops…The menu I chose was a trip down memory lane, the salsa is something so very scrumptious to go along with salmon, chicken or even roast aubergine …also thought it would be great with a pan fried cauliflower steak!

And then to jazz up the asparagus I pan fried some unskinned flaked almonds in some olive oil, touch of garlic, lemon zest and a dash of juice….I love the caper addition of Yotams, but seeing as the salsa has capers, I didn’t want to have the same ingredients twice in one meal.

The most important thing with the bake is to ‘cram’ the sweet potatoes in…your dish needs to be as full as possible, so that when the potatoes cook and shrink the dish still looks lush and generous. I mixed up the orange flesh and white flesh sweet potatoes just because….this dish is also great with butternut or regular potatoes and you could absolutely substitute the cream for stock and maybe a knob or three of butter.

You can substitute any hard herb…rosemary, thyme, oregano and don’t peel the spuds…the contrast is part of the charm.

Danielle’s Sweet Potato Gratin

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6
6 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5kg in total)
1 red onion, finely sliced in rings
5 tablespoons sage leaves, roughly chopped (plus some extra to garnish)
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
250 ml whipping cream / stock

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Wash the sweet potatoes (do not peel them) and cut them into slices of 5mm thick. A mandolin is best for this job but I used a sharp knife which also did the job perfectly (it just takes a bit longer…)

In a bowl, mix together the sliced sweet potatoes, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss! Now arrange the slices of sweet potato in a deep, medium-sized ovenproof dish by taking tight packs of them and standing them up next to each other. They should fit together quite tightly so you get parallel lines of sweet potato slices (skins showing) along the length or width of the dish. Throw any remaining bits of garlic or sage from the bowl over the potatoes. Cover the dish with foil, place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil and pour the cream evenly over the potatoes. Roast, uncovered, for a further 25 minutes. The cream should thicken. Stick a sharp knife in different places in the dish to make sure the potatoes are completely soft.

I like this dish at room temperature too…and it also works nicely warmed through.

Celery, sultana, green olive and caper salsa

125g celery stalks, thinly sliced
60g good quality pitted green olives, you can buy pre-sliced
3 tbls capers, rinsed
70g raisins/sultanas/currants
1 ½ tbls sherry vinegar
4 tbls olive oil
3 tbls honey
15 g flat leaf parsley
8 Salmon fillets, pin bones removed
2 tbls olive oil
Salt and pepper

Stir together all the salsa ingredients, taste , it should be sweet, sour and salty.

Set aside for at least 15mins – can be refrigerated for 24 hours