This recipe is a vegetarian and vegan hit for the BBQ, and your meat eating friends won’t mind because these also make a fabulous side to go along with meat or fish as well. Sweet potato skewers coated in warming paprika with a creamy tahini sauce drizzled over the top make a great addition to any BBQ spread.
I’m sitting here today, feeling thankful that I have got through a ridiculously turbulent few weeks of life.
Sometimes, I don’t seem to notice life, it just happens around me, I move the parts of my brain and body that are required in response to those outside inputs. I only deal with what needs to be done when it’s in front of me, rather than planning too far ahead or looking too far behind.
Over the last three weeks and two days I’ve moved house, decorated the lounge on my first day in the new property, created and taught the first ever Blogger Skills Academy class, enrolled at University for my masters in Food Policy, organised building work to take place in the kitchen, bathroom and garden, starting in a few days time. I’ve bought blinds, curtains, wardrobes, desks, light fittings, lampshades, shelves, kettle and toaster as well as having unpacked and removed EVERY single cardboard box that I bought with me. Yes, every. Single. One. I decided not to be one of those people who still has a fully loaded removals box languishing in the corner of the room, 1 year after moving.
I’ve done some freelance work, I’ve even posted on this blog twice a week, nearly (I only posted one on the week I moved). On top of that I’ve also walked my dog three times a day, played with him, fed him and tried to make him feel less like a spare part in the whirlwind my life currently resembles.
In return, the sun has been shining down upon me during this period, bright in the sky and there’s been a gentle warmth in the air that sits at odds with the shortening evenings and darker, misty mornings. In a final celebration of this summery feeling in the air, I’m posting a BBQ recipe, a glorious vegetarian BBQ recipe which is pretty simple to make up ready for that final assault on the grill this weekend before the sun fades into the autumnal mist and the vegetables and recipes that accompany that.
Sweet Potato Skewers.
The basis was simple, a hearty vegetarian kebab recipe, made up with skewers of vegetable chunks with something warm, spicy and zingy to go with it. I settled on sweet potato skewers, because BBQ sweet potato is awesome. Most vegetables are awesome when cooked on a BBQ, but we often don’t bother. Tomatoes are my favourite. When you’ve finished cooking on your grill and the heat is starting to fade, throw a handful of cherry tomatoes on the grill and leave them for a while to heat up, split and sweeten. It transforms them, it might as well be your sweet course after the BBQ.
Sweet potato is the same, as if the sweetness intensifies with the heat of the charcoal under the grill cooking them. They don’t need much else, so the coating is a simple one of groundnut oil and paprika. I find olive oil doesn’t sit as well with sweet potatoes, the flavours don’t quite get on, so I use groundnut oil for them. Once cooked, drizzle with the tahini sauce and scatter with coriander leaves for a platter of pure ‘WOW’ when brought to the table.
Paprika Sweet Potato Skewers with Tahini Lemon Sauce
By Gavin Wren
Serves 4 (makes 8 skewers)
Uses bbq skewers and a bbq
Approx 500g sweet potatoes
3 red onions
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoon groundnut oil
Salt and pepper
8 kebab skewers
3 tablespoons tahini
Juice half a lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Small bunch of Coriander, chopped
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthways, then slice into semi circular pieces about 1cm thick. If your sweet potatoes are big, chunky things, then you might need to quarter the vegetable lengthways first. If you have very small potatoes, then you may not even need to slice lengthways at all. Aim for pieces that are similar size as your onion pieces.
Peel your onions and slice into eight wedges. Put these in a bowl with the sweet potato pieces and sprinkle over the paprika, and a decent grind of salt and pepper then add the oil and mix until all well coated.
Build your kebabs, skewering a piece of potato, then onion, potato, onion, potato, onion, potato. Once all done, leave aside ready for the BBQ.
When your BBQ is ready to cook, place the skewers over the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes each side, so that they take on some colour and become charred. After this, they will still need some more cooking, so either move them to a less direct area of heat on your grill for 20 minutes, or place in the oven for 20 minutes at gas mark 5, 375ºF, 191ºC, 180ºC fan. You can check they’re ready by sticking a sharp pointed knife into one of the larger pieces of potato, it should pass in easily when cooked all the way through.
For the sauce, mix together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, cinnamon and salt.
Once ready, place on a platter and drizzle over the sauce and scatter from a height with the chopped coriander.