Making these potatoes was an exercise in patience and slow breathing, especially once I set off the fire alarm five times.
So…oven cleaning is a thing. I learned that lesson the hard way when I heated mine up to 450 degrees, put the potatoes in, and watched my studio apartment fill with smoke. It was humbling and totally worth it, though, because I ended up with these potatoes.
The rest of the recipe comes together pretty easily. For the chimichurri, you just pulse all the ingredients together in a food processor until they’re finely minced. Making the avocado mash is basically the same as making smashed avocado for the top of toast.
Obviously, the sweet potatoes are a little less straightforward. But they’re not difficult to make. Peel the potatoes and boil them in some hot water until they’re soft. Then, smash them down a little with the backside of a big spoon or a spatula. You don’t want them flat because they’ll cook down a little in the oven.
On an unrelated note, I went to see Yuna last night and she was amazing. I’ve been listening to her music for years, but seeing her live was a different experience. She radiates happiness onstage. You can tell that she loves what she does.
Here’s one of my favorite songs from her new album. Every time I listen to it when I’m walking, it makes me want to start dancing in the street.
Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Mash (slightly adapted from What’s Cooking Good Looking)
for the sweet potatoes:
2 sweet potatoes
salt and pepper
for the chimichirri:
1 cup of loosely packed cilantro
1 cup of loosely packed parsley
1/3 cup of red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a jalapeño, seeded
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
for the avocado mash:
a squeeze of fresh lime juice (1/2 a lime)
salt and pepper
Make the chimichurri. Pulse the cilantro, parsley, onion, garlic, and jalapeño together in a food processor until all the ingredients become minced and uniform in size. Place them in a small bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and stir. Cover, and set it aside until you’re ready to serve.
Then, make the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 450º. Place the sweet potatoes in large pot with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, and from the time it beings to boil, cook them for 15 minutes. You want them to be fork tender, but not fully cooked. They will continue to cook in the oven. Remove them from the water, and place onto a small baking sheet.
Using a spatula, press down and flatten the potato slightly. Do not flatten fully, you basically just want to crack open the skin. Generously drizzle with olive oil, and generously season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20-30 minutes, but keep on checking because I find that oven temperatures vary even more at higher temperatures. You’re looking for the skins to be brown, and charred around the edges. Once the skins look crispy, remove and place onto individual plates or one large if serving as an app to a group.
While the sweet potatoes are boiling, smash the avocado. Place the avocado, lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper into a small bowl and smash with a fork until the avocado is mashed. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble.
Place your potatoes onto a plate or plates. Add a scoop of the avocado mash and finish with a drizzle of the chimichurri. Enjoy!