Typical English pub-grub, beer-guzzling-man, football-watching, finger food. Well no more will this style of potato fit only into only this category (yes, I consider the above one genre). It is time for fully loaded potato skins to spread their wings and reach all us other non-male, teetotal, health-aware, sports-hating, messy eaters out there. I’m not saying everyone out there will like these, in fact many of you might even go so far as to hate them (people with no taste probably!), but I think they’re pretty dench (as Lethal Bizzle would agree).
I’ve never been a huge fan of white potatoes (no offense to white spud lovers) -mainly because they have no taste in comparison to sweet potatoes- but sweet potatoes are just so much more flavoursome, take less time to cook and are also much more nourishing. As a dietitian from London, I have a moderate (ok, severe) obsession with the UK’s public health promotion of the 5-a-day fruits and veggies message and actually aim to beat this everyday- yes I’m lame okay! And since sweet potatoes are classed as a portion, unlike white potatoes, they feature in my diet rather frequently.
Believe it or not, even with my habitual consumption of these orange rooties, I’m still not sick at the sight of them! Versatility my friends- that’s why sweet potatoes are wonderful. I even utilise them into my desserts (recipes to come), that’s how flexible these spuds are. Albeit they are not so pretty to look at, with their crooked, rough, dirty exterior and knobbly parts, but skins aside, the contrasting interior is an aesthetic delight. But I don’t like to discriminate, so this dish sings in rejoice of the ugly skins, replacing the soft, fluffy inner section as the centrepiece. The insides were saved for some muffins and crème brulee so no losses there.
The skins are more like toasts, with a moderate layer of the orange interior still adhered to them, adding a soft, chewy texture, and when topped with your favourite ingredients, well, a mouthful of food just couldn’t get any better – well it could get to the same level, but not higher, just to clarify!
I filled my sweet potato toasts with a selection of toppings: coleslaw, avocado, tomato salsa, eggs, hummus, baba ganoush and roasted millet. Below I will provide the basic recipe for the toasts, but holler me if you fancy making the hummus or baba ganoush.
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- Rapeseed oil to brush
- 1tsp sea salt
- In an oven (or even microwave for 6 minutes per potato) cook the whole potatoes at 220C for 30 minutes.
- When cooked, cut in half lengthways and scoop out the insides, but leave a generous layer still stuck to the skin.
- Brush the skins with oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place skin side up and bake in the oven at 220C for 10-15 minutes.
- Turn potatoes skin side down and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, top with favourite fillings and serve immediately.
I experimented with some sweet toppings, such as Nutella and peanut butter and jelly- the outcome was questionable, but I could get used to it!