Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Fig Salad

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Fig and Sweet Potato Salad

I have a few thoughts on my brain currently. No, they’re not intelligent thoughts. They’re just thoughts. This weekend is the first “football weekend” of the season and today I’m bringing you a salad. I guess this should tell you how invested I am in football.

I’m not one to have a bunch of traditions like eating breakfast in bed on Saturday (do real people actually do this?) or lighting candles at 5pm and getting in a hot tub to unplug…blah blah. But i will admit that starting traditions are kinda fun.

This fall my new tradition is rewatching Felicity. I started last night. Since LA is still being a jerk with its heatwave, I set a fan right in front of my face and watched Felicity while I ate delivery pizza. I call that one very awesome tradition, man. Fall reminds me of starting school. And Felicity starting school, moving to New York and being a psycho about Ben just brings warm nostalgic feelings in my tummy. But seriously, how crazy is Felicity in the beginning. Like, stalker status.

FigSalad_5

This fall I have a few trips planned and I’m pretty excited about them. The first is a trip to Israel, though that might change depending on our relations with Syria. We shall see how things play out. The trip was booked a few months ago, before things had escalated to what they are now.

In my attempt to educate myself about the food in Israel, I started to do some research online and off (via visiting restaurants here in LA). I ended up opening Jerusalem, the book written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

When I was gifted the book by the lovely people at Ten Speed last year, I had made a few recipes out of it, but I didn’t really read it front to back like I usually do when it comes to cookbooks. I wished I hadn’t waited so long; it truly is a beautiful read.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Fig Salad

Food is so personal to so many people. I think some of the only negative comments I’ve received on this blog are when I’ve made an ethnic dish and someone feels like I made it “wrong” or didn’t credit the “right country.” This happens even with the food I grew up on: Peruvian and Colombian.

Peruvians and Colombians will claim credit to dishes that don’t necessarily belong to “them.” What you learn is that they don’t really belong to anyone. The history is so rich, goes back such a long way that claiming said dish is hard to do. And most time, terribly futile.

I found it interesting, though not surprising, that this exists a lot in Israel. As I was flipping through the book I was stopped in my tracks by this salad. I recently picked some figs off my neighbor’s tree and was trying to find them a home. I picked up the rest of the ingredients and started to make it.

I feared that it might be too sweet. Figs and sweet potato are both sweet, obviously, but to my delight it wasn’t at all. The pepper gives it a lovely kick of heat, while the green onions and cheese give it some nice savory elements.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Fig Salad

Give it a whirl, if you like. It’s a good one. Easy preparation, not a ton of ingredients and tasty, too.

I promise I’ll bring some sort of super American football recipe soon. I love me an onion dip and some wings.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Fig Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Fig Salad

Print this recipe!

4 small sweet potatoes (2 1/4 pounds)
Olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
12 green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2 inch segments
1 red or green chile, thinly sliced
6 ripe figs, quartered
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Wash the sweet potatoes, halve them lengthwise and then cut each half again similarly into 3 long wedges. Mix with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and some black pepper. Spread the wedges out, skins die down, on a baking sheet and cook for bout 25 minutes, until soft but not musty. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.

3. To make the balsamic reduction, 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 it it does become too thick to drizzle.

4. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a big salad dish. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat and add the green onions and chile. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the chile. Spoon the oil, onions and chile over the sweet potatoes. Dot the figs amount the wedges, crumble the cheese over the top and then drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4

Recipe: A few thing tweaked from Jerusalem

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @themoonblushbaker September 6, 2013 at 2:00 am

Oh gosh i can not remember the last time I watched that! I think everything changed once she cut her hair but I guess people knew her the hair.
Gorgeous salad! With such humble ingredients too, definitely will become a staple dinner

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Sarah | The Sugar Hit September 6, 2013 at 3:12 am

New traditions are great. My boyfriend and I watch Wayne’s World every Christmas while eating ragu – THE BEST. Israel would be an amazing place the visit, especially if the food is like this.

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Sarah @ First Night Design September 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

You always give us such glorious photographs that even if a recipe contains something I’m not fond of, I want to try it!

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Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet September 6, 2013 at 9:43 am

That looks delicious. I totally agree with the sensitivity around culture and foods; there’s definitely a line to toe of not offending someone’s cultural heritage and also acknowledging that a lot of dishes have no real “culture or origin”, or that many different cultures have variations on the same idea.

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michelle September 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

this is an extremely interesting combination and we have both here in the house this weekend. cool!! thank you!

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Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) September 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

That is a seriously gorgeous salad! The figs are really awesome!

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Loretta September 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Loving the use of fall produce! The first time I tried a fig was last year (not in a Newton:0) and I was amazed! I’m going to be all over them this year, but I imagine it’ll be hard to get them into an actual recipe when they’re so easy to pop in my mouth!

Almost hate to say it, but I’m ready for the weather to catch up to the season…

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance September 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

This is one of my all time favorite salads to make but have never added green chile! I think I’m going to make it tonight with that addition :)

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lynn @ the actor's diet September 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

this is my dream salad…for reals…

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Rachel September 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I love Felicity! Every time I see any of the actors on another show or movie I am sad that the show is not still on.

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Jamie @lifelovelemons September 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm

These are all of my favorite things in one! Literally! I’m going to make this immediately… Pinning!

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Sarah Crowder (punctuated. with food) September 7, 2013 at 5:20 am

Love the combination of cooked and raw! And I would totally eat this while watching football.

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dishing up the dirt September 9, 2013 at 8:23 am

you’ve just inspired me to make this salad and watch Felicity!

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UnicornWrangler September 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

I love the look of this salad! I’m so ready for fall, weather be damned.

Also, in college, my friends and I had a tradition of watching the Thanksgiving episode of Felicity (where they’re all stuck at school and realize they are each other’s family now) before heading home for Thanksgiving break each year. We’ve been able to keep it mostly alive in some form (thank you technology) in the 6+ years since graduating!

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brooklynite September 9, 2013 at 6:21 pm

i read you every day and this is one of my favorite posts you’ve written, I’m not even really sure why. Felicity as a fall tradition sounds wonderful. x

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Stephanie September 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm

This looks so so tasty. I love the combinations of flavors.

Hope that you get to go on your trip, and that it’s a safe/fun experience for you!

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