Fire-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Onions, Blue Cheese and Walnuts
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.
|1 tbsp||olive oil|
|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|
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.