An autumn salad with rocket, pecans, cherry tomatoes and goat’s cheese topped with sweet potato crisps

October 22, 2010

This week’s sweet potatoes make great crisps which, if I don’t wolf them all as I’m making them, I love in salads. Last night I made one with this week’s rocket, those lovely cherry tomatoes from Marc Michel, a little chevre goat’s cheese and a smattering of pecans. The topping of crispy sweet potatoes gave a lovely crunch to things as well as a flash of great colour..

Crispy sweet potato salad with rocket, pecans and goat’s cheese

You’ll need:

A few big handfuls rocket – washed and dried

12 pecan nuts (a small handful) roughly chopped

150gr cherry tomatoes quartered

80gr soft crumbly goat’s cheese – I used chevre

1 sweet potato (about 100gr)

Plain flour

Vegetable oil

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

First of all the sweet potatoes – I make the  crisps with a vegetable peeler. You want them about 5 cm /2 inches long so peel then cut your sweet potato in half. Start making peelings –  the width doesn’t really matter. I would ain for about 1 cm wide but I’m not too fussed if they’re bigger. When you’ve made all your peelings start heating about 3 cms vegetable oil in a normal size pan. Toss the sweet potatoes in flour and in batches (2 or 3) shake off all the excess flour by shaking them in a sieve. To check the oil is ready drop one of the sweet potato shavings into the oil. If it gently starts to sizzle after a few seconds you’re ready to go. The temperature is important. Too hot and they’ll cook very quickly and turn brown or, worse still burn. Too low and they won’t crisp. I reckon each batch should take about 2 minutes and the crisps should keeps their lovely orange colour. If they darken slightly they are still edible but just not as pretty. As you can imagine you get a lot of crisps from one sweet potato so if you don’t get it right the first time it’s no the end of the world. When the crisps are ready, remove them to a piece of kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil and lightly sprinkle with fine salt. This is when the picking begins – they are very very moreish!!!

To make the dressing simply whisk the ingredients together and set aside.

Finally when your about ready to eat toss the rocket, pecans and tomatoes together then crumble in the goat’s cheese. Add the dresssing and toss again. Top with the sweet potato chips and serve.

This is a great lunch or starter dish but last night we ate it with leftover  roast chicken for chicken and it went down a storm.

What are those funny looking fruits in my bag?

Our mediteanean bags have chirimoya and kaki fruit this week. These varieties are very popular in Spain and Italy where you see them in all the markets at this time of year. Chirimoya (the green one) is a native of South America and is also known as custard fruit. You peel the skin to reveal a white flesh that has black seeds. You don’t eat the seeds but they are often used to make necklaces in South American countries (it’s a bank holiday weekend..sure, what else would you be doing?). The flavour is described as being like pineapple, banana, strawberry even bubblegum!  They are ripe when firm but with a little give -like an avocado.

The Kaki fruit has several names – Sharron, persimmon even velvet apple. It’s an asian native. It is high in tannins and if you eat it too early it’s very astringent. Try it when it’s still firmish but with a bit more give than a ripe avocado.

Have a fantastic weekend,

Sarah

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2 Responses to “An autumn salad with rocket, pecans, cherry tomatoes and goat’s cheese topped with sweet potato crisps”

  1. Dani Says:

    Great recipe Sarah. really enjoyed it and love those sweet potato crisps!

  2. Sean Says:

    Great recipe. love your blog


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