Harissa-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Red Onion
This simple salad is powered by two naturally sweet vegetables – sweet potato and red onion – but harissa, the popular north African spice paste, balances everything out. Harissa adds more than just a subtle heat to a dish; it injects smokiness, tang, richness and overall intrigue. When shopping, look for harissa that has a deep, brick-red color, a thick consistency and dried red chiles listed as one of the first ingredients. Cutting the sweet potatoes into wedges creates sharp edges so that they get crispy and golden in the oven. This dish is easily adaptable, and simple to make into a complete meal by adding roasted chickpeas, cooked lentils or grilled radicchio.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3medium sweet potatoes, washed and trimmed, (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3medium red onions, peeled and trimmed (about 1 pound)
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2tablespoons harissa paste, plus more for serving
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3ounces feta, crumbled (optional)
- Handful of cilantro or mint leaves
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise, then in half again (you should have 4 segments), then slice each segment into 3 or 4 wedges, so they are about 1/2 inch thick. Place them on a sheet pan.
Step 2Cut the red onion in half and slice into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, similar in size to the sweet potato. Place on the sheet pan with the sweet potato.
Step 3Drizzle with olive oil and add the harissa paste, cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few pinches of black pepper. Using a large spoon (or clean hands), toss everything together until the sweet potatoes and onions are well coated, arranging everything in a single layer.
Step 4Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, carefully toss and return to the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender and crispy around the edges.
Step 5To serve, squeeze over the juice from the lemon half. Taste and season with more salt and black pepper, if needed. Top with the feta, if using, a dollop of harissa and finish with a handful of cilantro or mint leaves.