This recipe makes me feel old. I remember first seeing it in print in Cooking Light, all the way back in 2006. I was a recent college grad then, and I made dishes like this all the time because 1) sweet potatoes are cheap and 2) I always had a jar of peanut butter on hand. I doubt I even realized it was vegan.
I haven’t made this in years, but I started thinking about it again the other day. It’s getting so chilly out, and I’m craving roasted root vegetables, pumpkin, and butternut squash–basically anything starchy and orange and sweet. This time, I used chunky peanut butter and diced tomatoes and it came out even better than I remembered. I loved the contrast between the creamy, sweet potato, the spicy sauce, and the crunchy peanuts.
This is a great weeknight recipe because you can easily prepare the potatoes and sauce ahead, and then just heat and serve when you’re ready for dinner. It makes a terrific main dish on its own, but it’s also a nice side with simple baked chicken or fish. I love to pair it with sautéed broccoli rabe splashed with a little tamari and drizzled with sesame oil.
Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Makes 4 servings
Adapted from Cooking Light
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1 cup petit diced tomatoes with juice
1/3 cup chunky, natural style peanut butter
Chopped roasted salted peanuts, for serving
Chopped cilantro or parsley, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until tender, 60 to 70 minutes.
In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, salt, and cayenne and sauté for another minute. Whisk in the water, tomatoes, and peanut butter until smooth. Simmer for a minute or two, until thickened.
Split each sweet potato lengthwise down the middle and spoon in the sauce. Top with the cilantro, parsley, and chopped peanuts.