One of the most important things I learned about cooking came straight from a cookbook. I’ll admit that I don’t always read the opening, informational chapter of a cookbook, typically diving straight into the recipes and photos. But when you have Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home laid out in front of you, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to soak in the wisdom of one of the country’s best chefs.
The man is a wealth of knowledge, sharing tips on using salt properly, sautéing, roasting and much more. But there is one tip that stuck in my mind above all others, one that comes into play in this recipe.
The concept is simple…using vinegar as a seasoning device. Chef Keller goes on to talk about how just a few drops of vinegar, or other acids such as citrus, can significantly improve the flavor of a dish. When you taste the final product, you may not be able identify vinegar, but it will show itself by helping the other flavors to really pop.
The next time you are making dinner (or even dessert – think lemon zest), consider adding a dash a vinegar or a squeeze or lemon or lime juice. I think you’ll be surprised at how your flavors will sing!
In this recipe for grilled sweet potatoes, the lime juice in the vinaigrette acts as the perfect foil for the sweet and smoky potatoes. In fact, the flavor combination is nothing short of spectacular. Yeah, that’s right, I’m patting myself on the back for this one, but the reality of the matter is that the simplicity of the ingredients are what makes this so good.
Other healthy grilled side dishes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Potatoes with Rosemary & Smoked Paprika
Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Vegetable Chickpea & Caper Salad
Gastro Senses’ Grilled Lemongrass Asparagus
Kenko Kitchen’s Jamaican Jerk Grilled Corn
Sabor-ina’s Grilled Tahini Cauliflower
- 2 medium, unpeeled sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp minced cilantro
- 1 ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp agave nectar
- ¼ tsp salt
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot of water. Boil the potatoes until they are just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a cutting board and let rest until they are cool enough to handle.
- Preheat the grill to HIGH heat. Lightly grease the grill.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them into ¼-inch rounds. Brush the round with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the sweet potatoes on the grill and cook about 2 ½ minutes per side, until they have browned grill marks.
- Transfer the grilled potatoes to a serving platter and drizzle with the dressing. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, agave nectar and salt.
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