All things fresh and salad-y are currently the darlings in my life.
Pretty robust declaration for the girl whose twitter bio reads ‘life’s too short for lettuce’. But, there’s a time and a place. Post Moroccan trip exccess (think lamb tagines, rich couscous with at least seven veggies and some sort of meat, sweet almond flour pastries and biscuits, pancakes (beghrir) and stiff semolina cake slices (harcha) for breakfast every single morning and sugar-cube sweet mint tea, the body is demanding otherwise.
Fear not. I am supplementing with the odd cookie (Jelle found a box of speculaas cookie mix in the grocery cupboard when we were doing a clutter- out on Sunday night and made a tray of cookies that reminded him of Holland and his family). Also desserts and chocolate now and then, but the aim is fresh and ‘clean’ most of the time. Thankfully Jelle and my brother add the hungry male contingent ever eager to “test” out my trial recipes so there isn’t a worry about the cheese puffs or beer bread going to waste.
I made this simple salad to celebrate a new season, slightly complex in texture – soft asparagus, browned sweet potato cubes with crispy edges and the silky, cooling velvet of plain yoghurt (I used low fat, use double cream if you wish), speckled with enchanting saffron threads.
I used a copper frying pan and napkin (Berber style stripes) that I bought in Chefchaouen in northern Morocco to style this shoot. I was there less than a week ago, I can hardly believe it!
Set oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a baking tray, coat sweet potato cubes in olive oil, season with salt and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through and browned along the edges. Shake tray to turn cubes half way through.
Mix saffron into yoghurt, leave in fridge (strands need time to soften and release flavour.)
Peel tough stalks of asparagus with a vegetable peeler and steam for 2.5 minutes in microwave or on the stove in boiling water until just soft. Immediately blanch in a bowl of ice-cold water with plenty of ice cubes.
Remove yoghurt from fridge, season with salt. Assemble sweet potato hash on serving plates, top with asparagus, saffron yoghurt and sea salt flakes. Scatter mint leaves over and enjoy, preferably outside if you can.
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