Thank you so much to @VegBoxDiary for pointing out this wonderful recipe for Sweet Potato Cakes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recent cookbook “Plenty.” This book is filled with so many gorgeous and delicious-sounding things to make that I had no idea where to start. She read my tweets about his book signing in New York and reached out to me to give me a hint as to where to begin.
After I made the Endive with Sweet Potatoes, Bacon, Chives, and Sour Cream a week ago, I still had one uncooked sweet potato left over. So, I cracked open “Plenty” and started reading the directions. During the summer months, I tend to eat more vegetarian anyway, so this seemed like a perfect dish to make for a quick snack or, as it ended up being, lunch. I used one large sweet potato and cut the recipe in half. This gave me 8 potato cakes (note that I saved half of them to eat later).
Not having any fresh red chili available, as they can be a bit difficult to find, I substituted a pinch of dried red chili flakes. This didn’t give it quite the kick that I can imagine the fresh pepper would do, but it had a wonderful flavor all the same. Using butter, with a splash of olive oil, gave the cakes a nicely crisp exterior that contrasted with their soft interior, like with pancakes or latkes. The yogurt dip was cool and creamy with a pop of tartness that gave the dish a bit of zing.
I can totally see why these were a favorite cafe snack during Ottolenghi’s university days. They even tasted good reheated and eaten the next day. If I didn’t have to make them myself in order to have them, I could see them as an integral part of my regular diet, too!
This dish is in Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Plenty,” which has lots of wonderful-sound recipes so I encourage you to add it to your collection. I had the pleasure of eating at his Notting Hill restaurant when I was in London earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. For this recipe, please visit this link to the article in the Guardian UK where it was published in 2007.