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+ 2 inches lemon grass stalk, hard papery layers discarded, the rest coarsely chopped
+ 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped ginger
+ Salt to taste
+ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
+ 2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, also sold as yams
+ 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
+ 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
 
1. mortar and pestle the lemon grass and ginger with a generous pinch of salt to a coarse paste.
Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and work the ingredients together. Bring paste and oil to a very gentle sizzle over medium-low heat for 2 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, pressing the ginger and lemon grass to extract all of the oil. 
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and brush the parchment with olive oil. Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges – smaller sweet potatoes will yield 8 wedges, larger yield 16.
3. Toss the sweet potato wedges in the bowl with the oil. Add the ground cumin and coriander, and salt to taste, and toss till thoroughly coated with oil. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (turn wedges after 10 min and again after 15 min).  Wedges should be tender when pierced and there should be some caramelized bits, especially at the thin tips. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before eating.
 
Yield: Serves 4

 

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