August 24, 2011

Japanese inspired sweet potato with umeboshi dressing

Don't let the look and feel of this post fool you - spring is definitely in the air here in Sydney and the Australian natives are in full bloom. I am loving the warmer and slightly longer days and cannot wait for the fresh spring produce!

But in the spirit of the last couple of weeks of winter, this Japanese inspired sweet potato dish is a perfect side dish or a light meal. I've gone to town with bold flavours, using one of my favourite ingredients - umeboshi to dress the sesame and ichimi roasted sweet potato. If you're a new-comer to Japanese flavours, perhaps go a little lighter on the umeboshi, as it can be quite sour (which I love).

 Sesame and ichimi roasted sweet potato...

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
a good pinch of ichimi (or to taste)

...with umeboshi dressing

5-7 umeboshi, pitted
1 tablespoon white (shiro) miso
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon rapadura sugar
juice of 1 orange
a few drops of sesame oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar

sesame seeds, to serve (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Toss the sweet potato in olive oil and place the chunks on the baking tray. Season with sesame seeds and ichimi and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until just tender (try not to over-cook them). 

3. In the meanwhile, place all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and purée into a smooth dressing.

4. Toss the roasted sweet potato in the dressing, sprinkle with some extra sesame seeds and serve warm.