How have I only just discovered the hearty scrumptiousness of a plain and simple oven-baked sweet potato? I have fled the homestead (well, not fled, but left) and plunged myself into a life of poverty-stricken student-dom in London (slightly melodramatic perhaps) – which means surviving on a diet of tinned tuna, peas and butter, pita and houmous etc…WOE IS ME (i’m not going to mention the griddled lamb with roasted vegetables, pomegranate and goat’s cheese which I made for myself on friday…that will only serve to destroy the illusion). So yes, pity me and my limited larder contents.

I am, however, secretly very proud of the meal I conjured up last week (as per usual, the photo does not do the dish proud). On friday evening, accompanied by a hungover (and slightly moany/hungry) friend, I dashed around Sainsbury’s, grabbing various vegetables, BOGOF deals, bread, milk etc….making absolutely no attempt to formulate in my head how exactly all of the ingredients were going to come together to make actual meals. So on sunday night, still riding high after the success of my lamb/vege/goat’s cheese extravaganza, I opened the fridge and was faced with a random array of vegetables/dairy items (and one very useful pomegranate)…hmmm. I grabbed the sweet potato, mushrooms, lemon, garlic, coriander and red onion, bunged the sweet potato (skin-on) in the oven for a good 40 minutes (drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt), in the meantime cooking up the mushrooms, onions etc. Once the sweet potato was done, I whisked it out of the oven, cut a slit in its top, dropped in a couple of knobs of butter, piled on the mushroom mixture, and sprinkled with fresh goat’s cheese…VOILA.

So simple. So easy. And a perfect antidote to those impending cold autumnal nights.

Recipe (roughly-speaking) – Serves 1

1 sweet potato
5 closed cup white mushrooms
1/2 red onion
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Bunch of fresh coriander
Soft goats cheese (as much or as little as you wish)
Lots of pepper (and some salt to taste)

– Scrub the sweet potato and take off any eyes or rotten patches. Prick with a fork, rub/drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and place in the middle shelf of the oven (180 C) for 30-40 minutes.
– Finely chop the red onion, slice the mushrooms, crush garlic, chop the coriander.
– Add splash of olive oil to pan and add red onion and garlic. When slightly browned, add mushrooms.
– When cooked, add the lemon juice and chopped coriander to the pan and season with salt/pepper.
– Take sweet potato out of the oven (checking with a knife/skewer that it’s soft/cooked), slit open the top, drop in a knob of butter and dollop the mushroom mixture on top.
– Sprinkle on goats cheese and fresh coriander.
– EAT.

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