Decadent, hearty and delicious, the sweet potato may look humble on grocery store shelves, but it's a luxurious addition to any fine meal—especially when it's been roasted and slathered in miso goat butter, dukkha and date molasses.
Taking flavors from Mediterranean tradition, Zou's Zou's in New York City serves food inspired by the home-cooked delights of Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Executive chef Madeline Sperling focuseis the menu around a wood-fired grill in an open kitchen, wowing guests year-round with mushroom kibbeh, charred celery root salad, grape leaf sea bass and, of course, roasted sweet potato.
“I like to think of the ember-roasted sweet potato as the sleeper hit of our menu,” Sperling says. "A sweet potato is humble on its own, but when charred in our hearth embers and dressed up with umami miso goat butter, sweet date molasses and a crunchy hazelnut dukkah, it becomes a showstopper of a vegetable dish.”
Whether you can make it to Sperling's NYC table or not, you can bring a taste of the Mediterranean to your own guests with the very roasted sweet potato recipe that stuns diners at Zou Zou's. Start by making your own dukkha from nuts and seeds, then render your own date molasses to ensure this sweet side hits all the right marks.
Zou Zou's Roasted Sweet Potato
Miso Goat Butter
45 grams of toasted hazelnuts chopped, dust shaken through perforated pan
6 grams of toasted coriander, cracked with mortar and pestle
7 grams of toasted white sesame seeds
7 grams of toasted black sesame seeds
7 grams of toasted cumin seeds
4 grams of toasted fennel seeds
1 gram of salt
Extra virgin olive oil
250 grams of date molasses
30 grams of lime juice
3 grams of salt
Make the Dukkha
Mix the spices and the hazelnuts together.
Add salt and a drop of evoo to help the seasoning stick to the mixture.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Make the Date Molasses
Whisk all the ingredients together.
Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Roast the sweet potato
Prepare grill to 375 degrees F, then grill the potatoes on indirect heat for up to an hour, flipping once half-way.
Before removing the potatoes from the grill, set them over direct heat to give the skin some char.
Peel back the chard skin of the sweet potato and gently mash up the inside of the potato, then create a spoon-sized divot in the middle.
In that divot, place a dollop of miso goat butter and generously garnish the potato with the dukkha.
Drizzle the date molasses over top, and enjoy!
Visit Zou Zou's in NYC or online to learn more and enjoy an array of Mediterranean delights.