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Sweet potato and chickpea dip

Sweet potato and chickpea dip
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

The holidays are frantic times, full of hustle and bustle and cocktail parties and big dinners. It's also a time of high anxiety for a lot of people — it's the one time of year even folks who can't normally ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes | Serves 10 to 12
  • 1 3/4 pounds orange sweet potatoes
  • 1 head garlic, whole and unpeeled
  • Zest of 2 limes and juice of one, divided
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sea salt flakes, or regular sea salt flakes or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimentón dulce or paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups drained chickpeas, home-cooked or canned
  • 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Step 1Heat the oven to 425 degrees and prick the sweet potatoes before placing them on a baking sheet and cooking them whole for about 1 hour, depending on their size. You want the flesh inside to be very soft, and no doubt the skin will be burnt in parts by the hot-roast syrup that can dribble out as they cook. This is good.

Step 2The minute the sweet potatoes are in the oven, cut the stalk end off the garlic, leaving the tips of the cloves exposed, and then wrap loosely in aluminum foil, sealing the ends tightly to form a baggy parcel, and roast with the sweet potatoes. This should probably be ready in 45 minutes, but I leave it for the hour with the sweet potatoes.

Step 3Let the soft and tender sweet potato and garlic cool; you can do this ahead of time and refrigerate them wrapped in aluminum foil or in a covered container.

Step 4When you are ready to prepare the dip, peel the skin gently away from the sweet potatoes and scoop out the orange pulpy flesh, leaving behind any of the scorched bits. Tip it all into a bowl and then squeeze in the soft, caramelized garlic purée from the exposed cloves.

Step 5Add the finely grated zest from both limes, and the juice from one, the smoked salt, pimentón dulce, chickpeas, and finely grated ginger and then blitz with a stick blender (or use a food processor) to make your dip. This makes a scant 4 cups dip.

Step 6Check the seasoning as well as acidity — you may want more lime juice — and serve, for beauty's sake, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Note: Adapted from Nigella Lawson's "Simply Nigella." She recommends serving this dip with corn chips or crudites.


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