Mar 222009

For holiday meals I don’t have to think too much about side dishes. We all love vegetables. Sometimes, though, I want to serve something a little different, something more festive.  One of my readers and commenters, Abbi, suggested drizzling sweet potatoes with Silan – date honey, before roasting. I liked the idea right away, and served the dish on Shabbat as a tester for Yom Tov.

If date honey is hard to find where you live, or too expensive an indulgence, maple syrup will do very well, or a few tablespoons of honey diluted with a little soup or plain water.

Here are two washed, sliced sweet potatoes, drizzled with Silan and olive oil, and besprinkled with salt, black pepper, cumin, and paprika.  Let them sit in the spices for 15 minutes or so. That’s it, that’s the whole prep.

I made a nest for them out of tin foil, and put it in to roast next to some shnitzles I was doing in the oven. The scant juices (below) I poured out and mixed with pan juices from a roast chicken. The resulting gravy alone was worth the slight effort.

This served four. The Little One loved sweet potatoes made this way.

For the curious, here is what Wikipedia has to say about the date palm and its fruit. And honey-syrup.htm” target=”_blank”>here is a link from Iran about date honey – the site doesn’t mention Israel as a producer of dates, of course.

There’s nothing like a quick and easy side dish when you’re harried and up to your ears in holiday cooking. Thanks for the great idea, Abbi!

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  3 Responses to “Passover Cooking: Sweet Potatoes Roasted in Date Syrup”

  1. They look beautiful! What a great idea adding the spices! and mixing the pan juices with the chicken also sounds delicious….

    I’m glad the little one loved them. They were a hit here too.

    And yes, I’m planning on making this as a side dish for one chag meal. I want to make the turkey tagine again for chag lunch, I think, for my parents and I think this will be the starch to go with it. (too bad no rice for us. :( )

  2. Dear Mimi,

    First let me tell you that I love your blog, and admire your prowess in all things culinary.
    I’m Ashkenazi, but my husband is Iraqi, and we go according to his minhag on Pesach. This has opened a whole new world for me, since I came from a family of no gebrokst, and I went all the way to the other extreme when I married.
    Last Pesach my most popular dish was a patty made from mashed potatoes, filled, for the carnivores, with chopped meat cooked with fried onions, garlic,allspice, cumin, pine nuts, pepper, paprika, etc. For the vegetarians it was filled with mashed cooked chickpeas mixed with fried onions, allspice, cumin, turmeric, etc (Ashkenazis can use spinach or mushrooms. and omit cumin and turmeric, since I think they’re kitniyot. Also maybe pine nuts can be replaced with almonds) I made the fillings in advance and formed them into balls, and froze them. That way, it was easier to put the mashed potato shells around them. I then dipped the patties into matza meal and egg and fried them.
    I’ll send you some cookie recipes soon. Betty Twaik

  3. […] the top, or sprinkle shredded coconut and peanuts. A little syrup over everything – it can be silan, or date honey, which I favor, or a home-made sugar syrup flavored with lemon, or even maple syrup. Israelis […]

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