Slada Batata Hilwa (Moroccan sweet potato salad)with preserved lemon
February is not the month to be snacking out on salads.I mean the fresh, green, crispy leafed varieties.Do not despair, you still can eat a seasonal healthy salad and wise up to Spring being just around the corner.Believe it or not hearty root vegetables can make good salads.Warm squash or pumpkin can be spiced up with chili and coriander, and if you are not vegetarian chuck in in a bit of bacon or pancetta.A tray of roasted vegetables enlivened by some fennel and tossed through some crispy croutons can make a healthy winter lunch.This substantial Moroccan sweet potato salad is just the ticket and something I will be serving as a starter well into Spring, or at least as long as the sweet potatoes are in season.What makes this salad extra special is the preserved lemon rind which adds a nice saltiness that just finishes it off nicely with the parsley. You can taste the flavours of the warm North African spices as well as the lemon rind, but I do feel it is a very necessary part of the dish, or maybe I just like home made preserved lemons. It is also great as a side to chicken dishes.
Slada Batata Hilwa (Moroccan sweet potato salad)
1 medium white onion, diced
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb sweet potato, cubed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Flor de sal
6 -8 green olives,pitted
1/2 preserved lemon, rind of, chopped
half a lemon, juice of
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
Saute onions in 2 tbsp of oil until golden.
Add the cubed sweet potato to the pan with 2 more tablespoons of oil.Add the ginger, cumin, paprika, and salt to taste.Toss everything together well to coat, then add enough water to barely cover the potatoes.
Cook until potato pieces are tender and the liquid has reduced to a sauce, turning the potatoes over once. Be careful when handling them so that they don't fall apart.
Let cool to room temperature.
Mix in olives, and preserved lemon rindl. Taste and adjust salt if you need more.
Sprinkle with lemon juice, remaining one tbsp of olive oil and parsley. Enjoy!