Roast Sweet Potato & Garlic Mash

My relationship with Sweet Potato started when I was 3 years old, living in Tokyo with my family. There was a man who drove around the neighborhood in a van with a loud speaker and would call out “Yakiimo”. If you ran out to the van you could buy the most delicious roasted sweet potato right out of his truck. Much like ice-cream vans that blare out tinkling tunes to let you know they have arrived, only this is a healthy hot version. It was such a welcome delight  in the winter, and the purple skin would blacken and become crunchy while the inside flesh was steaming hot and super soft. I have attached a video I found so you can see what the experience was like.

Some years later, back in New Zealand, I discovered a new love for Sweet Potato (called Kumara in NZ) at a Maori Hangi. A hangi is where your food (including Kumara) is cooked in the earth by being steamed over hot stones. The hangi pit is dug into the ground while rocks are heated to a very high temperature in an open fire nearby. When the rocks are hot enough they are placed in the pit and your food then gets put on top (in baskets). A wet sacking fabric is laid over the food baskets and then the soil is covered back over the pit. About 6 hours later when the food is dug up, you get to experience the wonder of food cooked in the earth! The meat is delectable too, but the Kumara cooked liked this is glorious.

As promised, here is the recipe for my Roast Sweet Potato & Garlic Mash. I served it the other night with Asian Fusion Tuna Steaks, but it would go beautifully with steak, pork and lamb too!

  • 4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 gloves of garlic, peeled
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Chop up your sweet potato into chunks about 1 inch thick and peel your garlic. In a roasting dish toss it all together with some olive oil, turning the pieces over so they are lightly coated all around. Grind some salt and pepper over the top and place in the oven. Cook for 30-35 minutes.
Let the sweet potato cool down a little and then transfer to either a food processor or a bowl to use with a hand-held blender stick. Pulse the sweet potato and your roast garlic. Add a few glugs of olive oil and about 2-3 tablespoons of water. You can add the water incrementally so you can make sure it doesn’t get too mushy, and keep adding more if it is still too thick. I like to leave mine with some “bits” in it for texture, so careful not pulse it to a puree or it will taste like baby food. Add more salt and pepper to taste if required.

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This can be set aside if made before dinner and then either microwaved or heated up again in a pot to serve with your meal. It is so simple and has a beautiful vibrant colour.
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5 thoughts on “Roast Sweet Potato & Garlic Mash

  1. Pingback: Prosciutto and Mushroom Wrapped Beef « Elisa's Table

  2. When you were in Japan (at the age of 3 lol), did you happen to learn how to use shrimp shells as a breading?

    I’m trying to figure out how to do it, I’m guessing just fry and grind. Any ideas?

    • Haha! Actually no I don’t know how to do that (and you will also notice an absence of anything with shrimp on this blog) because I am allergic to crustaceans!!! I don’t even cook them for other people as I cant handle them at all. As my mother is the same…we never had shrimp or shrimp dishes growing up when i was in Japan so I don’t know! I know that chitosan (the shells) is meant to be good for fat loss though!

      • Don’t feel bad, I think that just means you’re more evolved than those of us who still feed on the lower-life forms of the sea.

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