Fire-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Onions, Blue Cheese and Walnuts

These fire baked sweet potatoes are delicious cooked on the BBQ. The recipe calls for contrasting blue cheese, crunchy walnuts and sweet balsamic vinegar.

Introduction

Sweet potatoes bake brilliantly in the embers of a fire and as a bonus they cook far quicker than regular potatoes. I find a punchy sweet and sour filling, like this onion and blue cheese combo, works best to counter the sweetness of the potatoes, or try one of the other easy ideas below.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
3 large onions, sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A pinch of sugar
4 large (about 350g each) sweet potatoes
250g soft blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort, chopped
50g walnut pieces, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Start by cooking the onions - they keep well in the fridge and can be made up to 3 days in advance and then warmed through just before serving. Add the oil and butter to a frying pan set over a low heat. As the butter melts, add the onions and rosemary and fry gently for around 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until starting to colour a little.

Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and season with salt and black pepper. Increase the heat to medium and cook for a further 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside until you are ready to eat.

Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and wrap each one in a double layer of foil, then pop into the glowing embers of the fire. Use tongs to turn them a few times during cooking to make sure they cook evenly. In a fairly gentle heat, they should cook in around 20-30 minutes, depending on their size and the heat of the embers. They are ready when a skewer pierces through the flesh with ease.

To serve, warm the onions through in a pan, then spoon into the sliced-open potatoes. Scatter over the cheese and walnuts and tuck in whilst piping hot.

Other easy fillings:

Mozzarella, black olives and a dollop of pesto.

Flaked tuna and home-made coleslaw.

Chilli con carne, with lots of grated Cheddar.

Shredded cooked gammon, cooked sliced beetroot and a drizzle of soured cream.

Mushrooms sauteed in butter with a little garlic and parsley.

Crisp smoked bacon, crumbled goat’s cheese and a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts.

Vegetable curry with mint and cucumber yogurt.

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