Seared Sweet Potatoes with Merguez and Radicchio

I turned 39 this week.  Hoo-boy.  I only have one year left in my thirties!  All of a sudden I feel an  anxious eagerness to pack in as many things as I can before turning 40.  I’m not sure why. There has never been a better time to be 40, really.  But for whatever reason, in my mind–and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way–there is a dividing line between everything pre-40 and post-40.  40 means adulthood for real.   Like, if you don’t have your shit figured out by the time you hit 40, well, now you’re just that 40-year-old who never got their shit together.  Maybe I’m being too harsh on 40-year-olds?  Regardless, I feel pretty damn good about where I am in my life as a 39-year-old.  So I will try and focus on that in the coming year, and not dread the big 4-0 staring me down.

I innocently made this recipe, adapted from Food & Wine, a few weeks ago, and had no idea just how obsessed with it I would become over the course of several days.  I am a big fan of sweet potatoes and garlic, and you get a nice dose of both of them in this recipe.  But you also are treated to the deep flavor of merguez, bitter radicchio and sweet pecans, forming a sweet, sweet symphony in your mouth. You must make this recipe today.  I can’t image anyone not loving this dish.


Seared Sweet Potatoes with Merguez and Radicchio

Garlicky, roasted sweet potatoes are paired with bitter radicchio, rich merguez sausage, crunchy pecans, and sweet pomegranate molasses. A super flavorful dish that is also healthy!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French, North African


Sweet Potatoes and Nuts

  • 1 garlic clove finely grated
  • 3 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes scrubbed
  • Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pecans chopped

Sausage and Assembly

  • 1 head radicchio leaves separated and torn into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. merguez sausage casings removed
  • 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp. Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 1/3 cup plain sheep's-milk or Greek yogurt


Sweet Potatoes and Nuts

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Mix garlic and 3 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl.  Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and rub with half of garlic oil; set remaining garlic oil aside.
  • Season with salt and roast on a rimmed baking sheet, turning once, until flesh is soft and yielding, 45-55 minutes.  Remove from oven; reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
  • Toss pecans and remaining 1/2 tsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt.  Toast, tossing once, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8-10 minutes.
  • Let sweet potatoes cool slightly, then cut in half lengthwise.  Brush cut sides with reserved garlic oil.  Heat a large heavy skillet over medium.
  • Cook sweet potatoes, cut side down, pressing lightly with a spatula, until browned and charred in spots, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and reserve skillet.

Sausage and Assembly

  • Place radicchio in a large bowl.  Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in reserved skillet over medium-high.
  • Cook sausage, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in Aleppo pepper.  Transfer meat to a plate with a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 Tbsp. fat from skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium.  Combine pomegranate molasses, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water in skillet, stirring to combine and scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often , until sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes, then drizzle over radicchio.  Add reserved sausage and toss to coat; season with salt.
  • Mix yogurt and remaining 1 tsp. oil in a small bowl, thinning with a little water to make pourable; season with salt.  Divide yogurt among plates and top with sweet potatoes.
  • Arrange sausage mixture over, along with any pan juices.  Top with pecans.
Keyword merguez, pecans, radicchio, sweet potato

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