In a pinch, you can opt to use your favorite chili crisp (store-bought or homemade) to let this recipe shine its brightest. Maybe you've got the classic Lao Gan Ma in your pantry, or perhaps you've stocked up on the Hot Chili Sambal from Local Roots. Still, all you really need to make your winter vegetables their absolute best is the warm spicy heat of chili oil to pair with the sweet and nutty Local Roots squash and sweet potato. The result is a delicious and satisfying dish that boasts a balanced symphony of flavors through and through.
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsps. fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
Salt to taste
For the chili crisp:
¼ cup dried spicy red chilis, can be assorted or one kind
1 Tbsp. black peppercorn
½ tsp. cumin seed
1 cinnamon stick
1 allspice berry
2 whole cloves
2 star anise
1 bay leaf
½ cup chili flakes
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsps. Salt
3 Tbsps. sesame seed
½ cup canola oil
1 knob ginger, lightly crushed
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place the whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment and rub them with ½ Tbsp. of cooking oil.
3. Place the squash on a separate sheet tray and coat with another ½ tbsp. Oil. Sprinkle the squash lightly with salt.
4. Roast the vegetables until they are tender. The squash will be done before the sweet potatoes.
5. Turn the sweet potatoes and toss the squash every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure a more even cooking.
6. Meanwhile, make the chili crisp.
7. Break the chilis in half in a large heatproof bowl.
8. Break the cinnamon stick in half and add to the bowl along with the bay leaf and star anise.
9. With a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the peppercorns, cumin seed, allspice and cloves. Add to the bowl with the chilis.
10. Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan until very hot but not yet smoking. This should take around 4 to 5 minutes on medium high heat.
11. Very carefully pour the hot oil on top of the bowl, being careful not to splatter.
12. The contents of the bowl with bubble and splutter so it is very important to have a large bowl so as to not burn yourself.
13. Carefully stir the contents of the bowl continuously until the mixture cools a little bit. It will still be piping hot, but stirring ensures the contents do not burn.
14. When the bubbling has settled, add the ginger, garlic, chili flakes, salt, sugar, and sesame seed and continue to stir.
15. Once cooled enough to taste–this should be at least 15 to 20 minutes later, taste for seasoning and add salt and or sugar if desired.
16. Take the sweet potatoes and squash out of the oven.
17. Once slightly cooled, cut the sweet potatoes into chunks.
18. Arrange the sweet potatoes and squash on a plate, and drizzle with heaping spoonfuls of the chili crisp.
19. Top with chopped cilantro and serve.
This recipe was created by Local Roots Recipe contributor Sachi Nagase / @bothand.nyc
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