I am not sure there is a group of people more partial to fall, than the food blogger demographic. I have read countless posts and tweets about the elation brought to most via soups, squashes and pumpkin baked goods. Autumn is like the big hug we all get before the pale skin, freezing toes and overdose of holiday jingles. I do like me some good fall foods, but they seem to require a bit more time, ingredients, number of pots to clean and what forth. The pay off, is the complexity of layered flavors, the tenderness of braising and roasting and aromas that linger for hours. The art of delayed gratification. It's supposed to be 80' here this weekend, so the chilled leftovers of this dish are going to be heaped on a nice plate of spicy greens. I've got my arms out and ready for that hug autumn, where are you?
Note that yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing, but either could work here. Yams are slightly less starchy, but in this recipe, the taste is not compromised. Be creative with the spices, if you like it spicy add a bit of red pepper, a squeeze of lime at the end if you enjoy citrus or more ginger if you like the zing.
SPICED SWEET POTATOES AND CHICKPEAS // Serves 4 as a side
I suggest serving this side, on a wide or long platter, not a bowl. When all the warm potatoes sit on top of each other, they continue to steam and get mushy.
1 Cup Dried Chickpeas/Garbanzos ,soaked in water overnight
3 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled (about 3 lbs)
¾ Cup Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
2 tbsp. Melted Butter
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tbsp. Honey
2 tsp. Fresh Nutmeg
1 tbsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 tsp. Salt
1 Lime Zest and Juice
Fresh Ground Pepper
3 tbsp. Fresh Thyme, leaves removed
Oven to 425’
1. In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add the soaked beans. Gently boil for about 50 minutes until the beans are cooked through. Drain.
2. In the meantime, prepare the peeled potatoes. Cut off the ends and chop them into one inch cubes. Try to make them equal in size, shapes can vary. Put them in a large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the lime zest and juice, melted butter, oil, garlic, salt, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Pour the mix over the big bowl of potatoes, stir. Add the drained garbanzos, onions, 2 tbsp. of the fresh thyme and gently fold to cover everything in the spice mixture.
4. Spread the goods evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425’ in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes, gently stirring halfway through for consistent browning.
5. Let cool a bit before serving, sprinkle fresh pepper, squeeze of lime,taste for salt and sprinkle remaining thyme on top.