Author Notes: Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Figs with a Balsamic Glaze - this vegan dish has amazing flavor - a final product better than the sum of its parts
~ Adapted from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem —VeggiesByCandlelight
4 small sweet potatoes (2 1/4 lb / 1 kg in total)
tablespoons olive oil, divided
tablespoons balsamic vinegar
tablespoons organic brown sugar
green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 2" segments
red chile, thinly sliced
ripe figs, quartered
ounces soft goat's milk cheese (** optional)
pinches sea salt, or more to taste
pinches ground black pepper, or more to taste
- ROAST THE SWEET POTATOES Preheat the oven to 475°F [br] Wash the sweet potatoes, halve them lengthwise, and then cut each half again similarly into 3 long wedges. Mix with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and some black pepper. Spread the wedges out, skin side down, on a baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- MAKE THE BALSAMIC REDUCTION Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, until it thickens. (** Be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the vinegar is still runnier than honey; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in a drop of water before serving if it does become too thick to drizzle)
- TO FINISH Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the green onions and chile. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the chile. Spoon the oil, onions, and chile over the sweet potatoes. Dot the figs among the wedges and then drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Serve at room temperature. Crumble the cheese over the top, if using.