Do you have a shelf in your fridge devoted to jars of stuff you once bought for a recipe and have never used since?

Same.

I opened the fridge door yesterday and lurking at the back behind the pizza and the cans of energy drink (daughters’ hangover kit) and the cranberry jelly (the turkey… Christmas before last) was a jar of tahini paste.

At a distance it looks banal, but it can actually be turned into a brilliant salad dressing. It’s destined for stardom.

I didn’t want to make a run of the mill salad. No. I wanted to create a tasty, heart-warming, get-stuck-in salad. An offering to surprise and delight the family which is nutritious but not too worthy. Moreish and not goody-two-shoes. And here it is. Lets fill our boots.

Spicy Roast Sweet Potato Salad with a Lemony Tahini Dressing

Serves 2 (quite hungry) people as a main course.

  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, skin on (cleaned and scrubbed), cut into slices or chunks
  • 1 x 400g can chickenpeas
  • 2 tablesps melted coconut oil
  • 2 dessertsps Ras El Hanout spice powder (a Moroccan spice mix or you can go for the more Indian route and use a Tikka Masala spice blend)
  • Half a teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 larges handfuls of baby spinach, wilted kale or any greens or salad you need using up.
  • 1 large handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkins seeds (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablesps tahini
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 tbsps water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Put chickpeas in a bowl with the salt and pepper, all the spices and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Mix well and arrange on a baking tray which has been covered with foil.
  3. On the other half of the baking sheet (still on the foil) arrange the slices or chunks of the sweet potatoe which have been tossed in the other tbsp. of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Then turnover the sweet potatoes and check the chickpeas haven’t burnt.
  5. Whilst they are cooking in the oven, make the dressing.  Just mix all the ingredients together and whisk. You may need more water but the dressing should be slightly thick.
  6. When the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are cooked, take out and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.
  7. Arrange the salad leaves/green veg on a serving dish. Empty the warm chickpeas and sweet potatoes on top and drizzle the dressing all over. Scatter the coriander all over and the pumpkins seeds if using.

And any leftovers (you wish!) make a great packed lunch for work for the next day.

Annie x

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