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Roast sweet potatoes with pickled onions, coriander and goat's cheese

Side Midweek
Serves 4 as a side

This works well as a part of a mezze-style spread of salads, or as a side for fish or chicken. The pickled onions keep in the fridge for a good week, so it’s worth making double to ensure you have plenty left over: a spoonful is a welcome addition to all sorts of salads or piled into a cheese sandwich.


3 limes, 2 finely zested, the third shaved into 4-5 wide strips of skin (avoiding the white pith)
3 tbsp white-wine vinegar
½ small red onion, peeled and cut into 3mm-thick slices
2½ tsp caster sugar
salt and black pepper
5-6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly 5cm x 3cm chunks
90ml olive oil
½ tsp ground allspice
20g coriander leaves
80g soft mild rindless goat's cheese, broken into rough 2cm pieces
40g roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped


  1. Put the strips of lime skin in a medium bowl with the vinegar, onion, half a teaspoon of sugar and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Massage the onions for a minute, until the liquid turns pink, then leave to pickle for at least two hours: the longer you leave them, the brighter and pinker they become.

  2. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with three tablespoons of oil, the allspice, the remaining two teaspoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Transfer to a large, 40cm x 30cm oven tray lined with baking paper, and make sure the sweet potato chunks are spaced apart. Roast for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden-brown, then toss in any oil left on the tray and leave to cool.

  3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, blitz the coriander, grated lime zest, the remaining three tablespoons of oil and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt to a smooth, bright green salsa. I use a spice grinder to do this (don't use a food processor, the quantities involved are too small); if you don't have one, very finely chop the coriander and mix the salsa by hand.

  4. Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, arrange them on a platter and dot evenly with the pieces of cheese. Drain the pickled onions, discarding the lime peel, and scatter on top. Finish with a drizzle of salsa and a sprinkle of almonds.