Here’s a great non-meat recipe. Would it be better with chopped, crispy bacon on top? Yes! Is it good without it? Yes! This would actually be vegan if you either skipped the yogurt and honey or used alternatives. There’s not much else to say about this dish.
The recipe was sent to me by a friend who found it on the Smitten Kitchen website. It was apparently adapted from this cookbook: Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California. It actually seems like a good cookbook, but if you buy it, do the world a favor and don’t buy it from amazon.com. There are plenty of other good online booksellers.
And don’t forget: Smart cooks get vaccinated against Covid-19!
What you’ll need:
- 3 large yams or orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, cut into 4 lengthwise wedges (8, if your yams are really thick)
- 1 to 2T honey (I used 1, and it was enough, though 2 are called for)
- 1T crushed red-pepper flakes, dived .05 and 0.5
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and patted dry on towels
- 4T olive oil, divided by 4
- 0.25t smoked paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 0.5 cups Greek-style plain yogurt (regular unflavored yogurt works, too)
- 4T lime juice, (or the juice from 2 limes)
- 2 scallions, both green and white parts, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish
- Add two slices of chopped, crispy bacon for extra flavor! (optional)
What to do:
Heat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with foil (easier cleanup). Coat the one you’ll use for the yams with 1T of olive oil.
Toss the yams with honey, 1T of olive oil and 0.5T pepper flakes. Let them sit in the bowl for 5-10 minutes. While waiting, toss the chickpeas with 1T of olive oil, the smoked paprika and salt, to taste.
When ready, place the yams on the olive-oiled baking sheet in a single layer, keeping them from touching. Season with salt and pepper, then roast (not bake) for 30 minutes, until toasted underneath. Turn the pan around in the oven and continue roasting for 5-10 minutes, until fully cooked and slightly singed. If your oven doesn’t have a roast function, baking is just fine. To give them some color, just put the yams under the broiler for a few minutes when they’re close to done.
As soon as you put the yams into the oven, spread the oiled chickpeas on the second uncoated baking sheet. Roast in the same oven for 20 minutes, rolling around once or twice so they cook evenly. They should be dried, crispy and slightly browned. Cooking times may vary wildly, so keep an eye on them and turn the pan often.
While the yams and chickpeas are in the oven, whisk together the yogurt, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and lime juice in a small dish, then season with pepper, to taste.
When the yams and chickpeas are done, arrange the yams on a serving dish and drizzle the yogurt over them, followed by about half the chickpeas.
Garnish with scallions and remaining 0.5T pepper flakes and a bit of flaky sea salt. Now’s the time to add the chopped bacon, if using!
Serve hot with remaining chickpeas and yogurt on the side.