BLACKENED SWEET POTATO, HONEY BUTTER, CHAMOMILE & ALMOND DUKKAH with LEMON TOUM
This is a super-simple recipe for which all of the items (except the sweet potato) can be made up to 5 days in advance.
The dukkah makes far more than you will need for this recipe, but it keeps forever, so, as with all dukkahs, I would always advise making a bigger batch than you might need and storing for later use. It's such an incredibly versatile and useful garnish to have at your disposal in your store cupboard. It works brilliantly on many grilled vegetables, to add some crunch to your salad, or as a garnish sprinkled over both grilled fish and meat, as well as many different grilled vegetables.
Feel free to play around with dukkah. Essentially it is a combination of nuts, seeds and spices, so the creative possibilities are endless. At Berber & Q we use many different types of dukkah depending on what it will be garnishing, such as rose & pecan, pistachio & nigella seed and hazelnut & coriander seed. All of these recipes can be found in our Berber & Q cookbook.
CHAMOMILE & ALMOND DUKKAH
400g almonds, toasted and chopped
200g pumpkin seeds, toasted
80g sunflower seeds, toasted
40g urfa chilli
Salt, to taste
250g butter, softened to room temperature
10g pul biber
1 lemons, zested
40ml lemon juice
1 lemon, de-seeded, roughly chopped
80g garlic cloves (approximately 25 cloves)
400ml sunflower oil
15g flaked Maldon salt, to taste
2 medium to large sweet potatoes
Salt & black pepper, to taste
Some Extra Virgin olive oil
Some sprigs of lemon thyme
4 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
FOR THE CHAMOMILE & ALMOND DUKKAH
In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds until rough crumbs. Retain some texture by ensuring it’s not over-processed. Remove and set aside.
Process the chamomile to a rough powder.
Mix all of the ingredients with the Urfa chilli flakes in a bowl, and season with the salt.
Store in an airtight container for several months, or even longer.
FOR THE HONEY BUTTER
Combine all of the ingredients together in a mixer with the paddle fitted and on medium speed & beat the butter until well combined. In the absence of a mixer, you can use a whisk instead to mix the softened butter and remaining ingredients in a large bowl until well-folded through. Roll the butter into a log using clingfilm, and set aside in the fridge until needed. It will keep for at least 3 days, but probably more like 5.
FOR THE LEMON TOUM
Blend the lemon and garlic with the water in a food processor (such as Nutri-bullet or bar blender) until smooth and pour in the sunflower oil in a steady continuous stream to emulsify. In the absence of such a blender, and if instead you're using a Magimix, use the smaller bowl attachment so that you can try and get the garlic and lemon as smooth as possible. Season with salt to taste and set aside in the fridge until needed, where it will keep for up to 5 days.
FOR THE SWEET POTATO Set a barbecue up for two-zone indirect grilling, ensuring you’re cooking over a medium-high heat with an internal barbecue temperature of around 180–200°C. Barbecue-roast the sweet potatoes indirectly, off set from the coals, for approximately 1½ hours, until softened all the way through. (Alternatively, you can preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4 and oven-roast the sweet potatoes. They should take between 45 minutes to an hour. )
Once the sweet potatoes are soft all the way through, cut them in half down the middle lengthways and season generously with flaked salt & black pepper. Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add a couple of tablespoons of the honey butter to the pan as well as some olive oil to stop the butter from burning. When the butter/oil mix is shimmering hot, return the sweet potato halves to the pan, cut-side down, as well as the sprigs of lemon thyme strewn around and the garlic cloves, and keep the potatoes as such for several minutes without moving. Resist the urge to lift the or move the potatoes around the pan, the intention is to char the surface so as the potatoes caramelise. Continue to baste the sweet potato with the excess butter from the pan, then add a few more tablespoons of the butter , and transfer, in the pan, back to the oven for a final few minutes.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, flip them over carefully onto your serving plates, and drizzle any excess butter from the pan over the top. Dust in the almond & chamomile dukkah, and garnish the dish with the lemon thyme from the pan and a large dollop of lemon toum.