This works well as a part of a meze-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.
4 as a side
3 limes, the zest of 2 finely grated, 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.