Seville Orange Marmalade
Cooking for Hugo: Culture Clash

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Feta-Olive Salad


The other day, I missed Hugo's dinnertime window by ten minutes. Ten measly minutes! By the time I sat him in his high chair, it was all over. He refused everything - even the yogurt, people, it was dire - so there was nothing left to do but put him to bed and then, do you want to know what I did?

I ate his baby food for dinner.

Yes. It was one of my lowest moments as a parent so far.


Now there's no use in trying to make me feel better about this. I didn't feel resourceful or inventive or like a supermultitaskingnumberonemommy. I just felt sort of pathetic. Pureed vegetables are super-sexy in a soup with cream, maybe, but eaten out of your kid's Beatrix Potter bowl, with a smear of yogurt on the side? The culinary equivalent of ratty, gray granny panties and don't try to tell me otherwise.

Thank goodness the internet came to the rescue of my dignity the next night. Gemma mentioned some sweet potatoes that she eats once a week (those have to be good sweet potatoes, right?) topped with a spicy feta salad, which led me to this lovely place and the sweet sensation of relief when I realized every single ingredient required was already in my house.


I'll say this, it's kind of a weird concept: piping hot, melty sweet potatoes and the boldly flavored, spicy, cold olive-feta salad on top. But it works! Each mouthful contains all these different kooky elements and yet they work together - punching each other up, cooling each other down - to make for a very interesting dinner and I mean that in a nice way, not in an "innnn-teresting" kind of way.

Plus, it was decidedly not baby-friendly and that pleased me very much indeed.

So join me in muttering my new mantra, won't you? Baby food is for baby! Adult food is for me! (That's so it, uh, rhymes.) And so it shall be evermore.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Feta-Olive Salad
Makes 2 servings

Adapted from Traveler's Lunchbox

2 large sweet potatoes
1/2 pound (200 grams) feta cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon za'atar (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
A spoonful of sour cream or yogurt

1. Heat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Wash the potatoes to rid them of any dirt and place on a foil-lined baking pan in the oven. Bake until they are completely soft, about 45 to 60 minutes (depending on their size).

2. While the potatoes are roasting, make the salad. Mix together all the salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside to marinate until the potatoes are done (add a little more olive oil if it seems dry).

3. When the potatoes are fully roasted, remove them from the oven and place on plates. Slice each potato lengthwise down the center, folding open to reveal the orange flesh inside. Pile half the feta salad on each potato, season to taste, dollop yogurt or sour cream on top and serve.