"Ottolenghi-fied" Sweet Potatoes

November 17, 2017
8 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Serves 3 to 4
Author Notes

If you’re wondering how to wake up tired vegetables, ask Yotam Ottolenghi. He’ll show you how to marry sweet and spicy, tangy and nutty, crispy and creamy. He’ll make your vegetables feel special. As they should! These sweet potatoes are pomegranate-glazed, tahini-drizzled, chickpea-scattered. Add in a crunchy, green salad alongside and you've got dinner.

Note: This recipe does not come from Ottolenghi himself or his cookbooks. It's just inspired by his style and go-to ingredients. Chickpeas are listed as an "everyday ingredient" in his book Simple, and the tahini and pomegranate molasses are fittingly termed "Ottolenghi ingredients." —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Morton's), plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (roughly half a can)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into large (roughly 1 1/2-inch) chunks. Add to a naked, rimmed sheet tray and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the 1 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast—stirring the potatoes halfway through—until they're just tender and beginning to brown, about 24 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the tahini, lemon juice, and cold water in a bowl. Stir with a fork until smooth and runny, like yogurt. Season to taste with salt. (This can be made days in advance and refrigerated.)
  3. If you're using canned chickpeas, make sure they're very dry (I like to blot them between paper towels). Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add the chickpeas, sesame seeds, cumin, and cayenne. Fry until golden and crispy, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  4. When the potatoes are done, let them hang out for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and gently toss. Transfer to a platter. Squiggle with tahini sauce and scatter with crispy chickpeas. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Suze
  • Laura Moreno Saraga
    Laura Moreno Saraga
  • Sam
  • Terry McKenzie
    Terry McKenzie
  • KareK
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

14 Reviews

Suze November 28, 2022
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a smash hit. Love Ottolenghi. His delicious recipes can get quite complicated and time consuming but this one was simple to make and had everyone asking for the recipe.
Laura M. April 5, 2020
This recipe is delicious! I didn't have cumin but it was still super tasty. I had a bit of problem toasting the chick peas. I tried for about 10 minutes and they never quite became crunchy.
Sam March 30, 2019
Essential weeknight dinner recipe. This recipe was DELICIOUS but i'm biased because sweet potatoes, garbanzos, and tahini are my faves. My partner also loved this recipe and he thinks sweet potatoes and tahini are just okay normally.
Emma L. April 1, 2019
Thanks, Sam!
ALEXIS S. January 3, 2019
The crispy chickpeas are my new favorite salad topper. I had to cook them twice as long as recommended and turn up the head but glad I was patient to get that CRUNCH. Thank you!
Emma L. January 4, 2019
So glad you're enjoying 'em!
Melissa K. January 15, 2018
Very yummy and looks beautiful on the plate!Sadly no one in my family likes sweet potatoes or chickpeas...except me! : )
Lazyretirementgirl January 21, 2018
My problem, too. Guess i’ll just have to eat them All. By. Myself. 😄
Terry M. January 12, 2018
I think you just saved my weekend. It's too cold to trek to the store and haul groceries home on the bus. Thank the goddess for long-keeping sweet potatoes and a well-stocked pantry. I have everything to make this in my kitchen right now. I don't have to leave my apartment until Monday morning!
Emma L. January 13, 2018
Patricia D. January 2, 2018
This dish is delicious, I added some crumbly goat cheese which complemented it perfectly and makes a great lunch, warm or room temp
Emma L. January 13, 2018
Love that idea! I bet feta would be great, too.
KareK November 23, 2017
Made this as a side for a lamb dish. Delicious! Definitely a keeper!
Emma L. November 25, 2017
So glad to hear it!