When watching endless amounts of repeated, Christmas F.R.I.E.N.D.S episodes over the years I never really knew what a yam was until I read a few recipes referring to this ingredient that looked identical to a sweet potato. A staple of comfort food, and naturally my staple for comfort television was indeed F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
There is a thread of articles on The Guardian U.K website at the moment about ‘What comfort food means to us’ and how food will always in some way lift your mood, and in some way change the way you feel. So, aptly I’ve come to blog about what this category of food means to me.
The essence of a really great comfort food is simplicity for me. It does not necessarily have to be unhealthy, but it really has to aid that really depressive state we get either after a hard day of work, or waking up to a torrential downpour. My comfort food would ultimately start with two slices of toast. It really is magical because of it’s diversity to be whatever you want it to be a massive cheese toasty or the ultimate sugar fest of peanut butter and nutella. (Being gluten-free I can’t thank the brand Genius enough in the U.K, for releasing convenience –edible- bread) But sometimes it’s about the ingredient, and sweet potato does hit the comfort food nail on the head.
I made a salad.
I wanted to make something all in one go that would have a self sourcing dressing when cooking the sweet potato, so the flavour would transmit all around the different textures.
The garlic-cooked whole in the roasting tray turns sweet and then counterbalances with the lemon drizzle later on.
The chickpeas provide a nutty undertone, which brings it all together.
Comfort food is ultimately about adapting for yourself, what I’d love to know is what you would change about this recipe to make it ‘comfort’ for you?
L’Amour looks something like yam salad
1 Sweet potato
Bunch of cabbage greens (dependent on how healthy you want to feel)
½ a Lemon
Good quality Olive oil
2 or 3 Cloves of garlic
A handful of tinned or prepared Chickpeas
Salt and Pepper
Preheat your oven to 230c (that’s 450d for you peeps overseas)
Peel and cut your sweet potato into cubes and place into a well olive oiled roasting tray; you will use the oil later for your salad dressing.
Pop in two cloves of garlic whole. Season well with salt and a tad of pepper; I tend to season it with pepper at the end to avoid bits burning and what not.
Pop the tray in the oven for about 20-30 minutes (dependent on how roasted you want them)
After 5 minutes put your cabbage greens into simmering water for 15 mins; you want to keep their freshness and crisp.
Dress your plate with the sweet potato leaving the oil in the roasting tray…
…add the chickpeas and cabbage.
Squeeze over half a lemon and then give all a good merge. Mmm.
Crush the whole garlic’s in the roasting tray so all the juice runs out, give this a stir and pour over the salad.
I finish the bowl and feel completely satisfied.