I had no dinner planned. I was in the middle of Meatless March. Pondering a pile of sweet potatoes and inspired by the maple syrup contest, I decided to modify the chinese bistro rib recipe from Gourmet making the sweet potatoes the star of the show. I changed the recipe (which had already morphed for me over time) to better highlight the sweet potatoes by adding orange zest and sweet shallots. But why stop there? Why not use maple syrup instead of sugar in my sesame vinaigrette? —savorthis
Brown the sweet potatoes in some oil and remove them to a bowl. Sautee in the same pan the shallot, garlic, black beans, ginger and zest until very aromatic.
Steep the tea in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove teabag and stir in soy, 2 T syrup and sherry. Simmer 5 minutes and add back the sweet potatoes. Cook over high heat until sauce is reduced to a glaze.
Meanwhile, cook broccoli florets in some oil over very high heat until charred in places. Add a splash of water, lower the heat and cover to steam until crisp tender.
For the sesame vinaigrette, toast 2 T sesame seeds in a dry pan for just a couple minutes until fragrant. Grind with a mortar and pestle and add remaining 1/2 T maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and toasted sesame oil. Whisk together while adding a thin stream of oil until emulsified (about 1/4 c).
To serve, place a pile of zucchini on the plate and top with sweet potatoes. Drizzle vinaigrette over broccoli. Top with a sprinkle of cilantro.