Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Seed Cheesy Bake
Tomatoes contain the phytonutrient lycopene. Research has shown that people with low levels of lycopene often have problems falling asleep. This bake combines sleep-friendly sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds and cheese.
|900g/2lb||sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed|
|3||fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped|
|2 tsp||cumin seeds|
|250ml/9 fl oz||vegetable stock|
|100ml/3½ fl oz||half-fat crème fraîche|
|120g/4oz||soft goat’s cheese, e.g. chèvre|
|4 tbsp||pumpkin seeds|
|4 tbsp||fresh breadcrumbs|
|For the tomato sauce:|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|1||large onion, finely chopped|
|2||garlic cloves, crushed|
|1 x 400g/14oz can||chopped tomatoes|
|1 tbsp||tomato paste|
|Balsamic vinegar for drizzling|
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Put the sweet potatoes in a large baking dish and sprinkle with the thyme leaves and cumin seeds. Add a grinding of black pepper and pour the stock over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes or until just tender but not mushy.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large frying pan set over a low heat and cook the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the tomato sauce over and around the sweet potatoes. Dot the top with small spoonfuls of crème fraîche and goat’s cheese. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and breadcrumbs.
Turn up the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and cook for 15 minutes until the topping is crisp and golden.
Or you can try this . . .
Use pumpkin or butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes.
Add chopped fresh basil, parsley, chives or rosemary.
Instead of canned tomatoes, use 500 g/1 lb 2 oz juicy fresh ones.