July 8, 2021

Recipe: Baked salt-crust sweet potato with blue cheese & walnuts

There's an element of play-value when it comes to baking in a salt crust, but the results - with or without blue cheese - are meltingly delicious.

Baked salt-crust sweet potato with blue cheese & walnuts
serves 4 as a starter or side dish

1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed clean
100g creamy blue cheese
50g walnuts
30g butter
¼ cup mixed herb leaves (use same mix of herbs in crust)

for salt crust
300g plain flour
200g cooking salt
¼ cup chopped mixed woody herbs (e.g. rosemary, thyme, oregano)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
250ml warm water

Preheat oven to 180C. Place flour, salt and chopped herbs into a medium bowl and mix well. Make a well, pour in oil and water and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Turn out onto the kitchen bench and knead to form a dough. Flour the bench and roll the dough out to 3mm thickness. Place the sweet potato onto the dough and wrap the sweet potato with the dough to enclose. Place the parcel seam side down onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or on a bed of rock salt. Bake for 60-90 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender (test with a metal skewer, piercing the crust).

Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, turn down the oven to 160C and place the walnuts onto a baking tray and toast for 8 minutes. Melt the butter in a small frypan, add the herb leaves and continue to cook until the herbs are crisp and the butter has turned nut-brown in colour.

Place the sweet potato parcel onto a serving platter and take to the table. Crack the salt crust with the heel of a knife or mallet and pry open to reveal the sweet potato and release the aromas. Slice open the sweet potato, crumble over the blue cheese, pour over the herb brown butter and scatter with the walnuts.

 Serve with a spoon as the sweet potato will be meltingly tender.

This recipe first appeared in the May 2021 issue of SALIFE magazine.

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