The year is closing shop already; January is around the corner. Another year has passed in the blink of an eye. Every year around this time, I take a moment to reflect on the year that has just passed. I look back at what I’ve accomplished, and then look ahead to what’s coming. I try to put words on what has been. Put words on life. Waking up, moving, laughing, doing, loving, reading, watching, learning, eating (lots of eating), creating, smiling, crying, falling, rising, thinking (too much thinking), sleeping, dreaming. This repeated cycle that makes up life and defines us. Those tasks that fill up our calendar. Our actions, our rituals, our habits. All of those things that define how much we’ve grown.
Now onto these little bites. They’re super festive and I promise they will be a hit at your New Years gatherings. Sweet potato slices, nicely roasted in the oven. Mashed avocado for some creaminess and color. Pretty pomegranate seeds for some sweetness and crunch. A drizzle of creamy, tangy cashew lime sauce. And the cherry on top of the sundae: a pistachio dukkah, for a party-in-your-mouth of flavours and textures.
I’ve been introduced to dukkah this year thanks to the interweb – omg, dukkah, where have you been all my life?
Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend of nuts and seeds. You can purchase it in gourmet grocery stores, but it’s super easy and so much more fun to make at home. There are countless variations of dukkah recipes available. Here I went for the traditional blend of pistachios, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt and pepper and added smoked paprika for a lightly spicy taste. You could go with whatever nut, seed or spice you have on hand or fancy. This perfect blend will bring so much flavour and a nice crunchy texture to these little bites. I swear, this combo is the bomb.
The dukkah can be prepared in advance and kept in an air tight container for about a month. Use it on salads, veggies, toasts or bread – I swear you will want to sprinkle it on everything!
Sweet Potato Bites w/ Cashew Lime Sauce + Pistachio Dukkah
Sweet Potato Bites:
- 3-4 small sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp smoked paprika optional
- 3 ripe avocados pitted
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Seeds of about 1/2 pomegranate
Cashew Lime Sauce
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for 2-4 hours
- Juice and zest of 1 to 1 1/2 lime
- Pinch sea salt
- 5-6 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1/3 cup raw pistachios hulled
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Sweet Potato Bites:
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and place them slices in a single layer on one large or two medium baking sheets. Brush with coconut oil on both sides. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
Roast for 18-20 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. Flip, then roast for an additional 9-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Cashew Lime Sauce:
Drain the cashews, rinse well and place in a blender or food processor (or blend with a hand blender). Add the juice and zest of one lime, sea salt, and a few tablespoons of water.
Blend on high. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, and blend again until you get a smooth and creamy sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more lime juice or salt if needed. Set aside.
Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until they start to pop. Be careful not to overcook them. Once they become fragrant and begin to pop, transfer the spices to a mortar and pestle and let them cool.
Meanwhile, roast the pistachios in a small skillet for about 5-6 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board to chop finely.
Grind the coriander and cumin seeds in the mortar and pestle and then transfer to a small bowl. Add the chopped pistachios.
Now toast the sesame seeds in the same skillet until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the sesame seeds in the bowl or pistachios and seeds. Add salt, pepper and smoked paprika and mix to combine.
Cut the avocados into small dices and place in a bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent browning. Mash lightly with a fork, keeping some chunks for texture.
Once the sweet potato slices have baked, top each with a dollop of the avocado mixture. Then drizzle with the cashew lime sauce. Add a few pomegranate seeds on each bite, and then top with a generous portion of the pistachio dukkah. Serve immediately.
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.