EAT better

Baked sweet potato fries, creamy roasted homegrown garlic dip

We love garlic…..who doesn’t! taking photos of this lovely bulb I was reminded that I had selected a plait of garlic it for my leaving certificate still life – I spent hours drawing it from every angle, but it never got old because each bulb is so different and intricate with its lovely papery pearly layers. We were excited to be given some garlic that Eoin had grown himself, what a treat!  After mulling over the many possible options for how to use it, we decided that we should let this it be the hero of the dish and stand alone with all its flavour and goodness intact. When you have good quality seasonal ingredients, simplicity trumps all. So we decided to simply roast it, blend it and turn it into a lovely creamy dip. It was absolutely delicious.

The magic of garlic is how it changes so vastly depending on how you use it, and for me roasted garlic is my favourite way to enjoy it. The strength mellows and its texture becomes creamy and rich with a hint of caramalisation. This dip would work great spread upon almost anything (say for example slathered on toast with some fresh avocado, a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon- mmm) or even simply mixed in with some steamed veg. So easy to do and so rewarding

We paired it with some sweet potato fries which is another really easy to make side dish and they worked great together. Lots of fresh rosemary, sea salt and pepper is a must!

baked sweet potato fries, creamy roasted homegrown garlic dip

makes enough for 2 as a side
garlic dip ingredients:
2 bulbs of garlic
1 sprig of fresh rosemary – leaves removed from twig
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
sweet potato fries – ingredients:
3 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and sliced into chips
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary – leaves removed from twig
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

garlic dip – directions:

– Preheat oven to 350°F/ gas mark 4.
– Chop off the tops of the bulbs so the flesh of the cloves is exposed. on each bulb drizzle about 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil, a pinch of smoked paprika, some fresh rosemary leaves and lots of salt and pepper.
– Wrap each bulb in some tinfoil twisting at the top to make a sealed parcel and place on a baking tray in the oven for about 45- 50mins, or until tender and soft.
– Remove parcels and once cool enough to handle open them up and using a knife or your hands, squeeze out the soft garlic flesh into a bowl discarding the skins.
– Combine the roasted garlic with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (essentially a squeeze) and 1/4 teaspoon wholegrain mustard (we used biona organic wholegrain mustard).
– Using a handheld liquidiser, or a whisk and a little elbow grease, combine.
– Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.
sweet potato fries – directions:
– Peel your sweet potatoes and chop into chips, keep the size of your chips as consistent as possible- it’s up to personal preference whether you prefer skinny fries or tick chunky chips. A word of warning though, don’t make then too skinny or ‘shoestring’, as they will just crisp up and burn. they also tend to shrink down in the oven so err on the side of a little thicker.
– Add your chopped sweet potato into a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary, mix to ensure an even coating.
– Spread chips evenly on a baking tray, ensuring not to pack the baking tray full as this will prevent them from crisping up.
– Pop them into your preheated oven (350°F/ gas mark 4) and cook until golden brown and crisp.

Serve your fries, fresh from the oven with with the creamy garlic dip on the side and enjoy!

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