By Freya Bellin
The farmers’ markets are overflowing with produce lately, bridging the gap between summer and fall. Last weekend there were still some rogue peaches, plenty of sweet tomatoes, peppers galore, and the first sightings of pumpkin.
This recipe reflects that transition perfectly. In an ode to the peppers and bright herbs of summer, this pico de gallo is fresh, spicy, and bright. The tomatillos add a sweet-tart, crunchy element. I couldn’t resist chopping up a couple of small golden tomatoes to throw into the mix. The sweetness was a welcome addition, if you have some extra lying around. Meanwhile, the cumin dusted sweet potato chips are a preview of fall’s warm, sweet flavors. The thinner you can slice them, the better (I got some help from my food processor), but if they’re on the thick side, just make sure to cook them longer. You really want to see some browning and warping before you take them out of the oven; otherwise, they won’t crisp up when they cool. These are perfect for a crowd, and way better than your average old chips and salsa. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.
Cumin Sweet Potato Chips with Tomatillo Pico
Makes: 4 to 8 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Here, sweet potatoes are sliced thin, baked until crisp, then dusted with cumin and served with a bowl of tomatillo pico de gallo, a roughly chopped raw salsa. Plantains are a wonderful substitute for sweet potatoes here; see the variation.
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
1 teaspoon cumin
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, cored, and chopped
1⁄2 large white onion or 3 or 4 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
Minced fresh hot chile (like jalapeño, Thai, or less of habanero), red chile flakes, or cayenne, to taste
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Juice of 2 limes
1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Slice the sweet potatoes about 1⁄8 inch thick, using a mandoline, food processor, or sharp knife, then toss them with the 2 tablespoons oil. Grease a couple of baking sheets with some more oil. Spread the sweet potato slices out in a single layer (it’s okay if they’re close) and sprinkle with salt. Bake, turning as needed, until they’re crisp and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes total. Remove the chips from the oven and immediately sprinkle the tops with the cumin; transfer them to wire racks to cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine the tomatillos, onion, garlic, chile, cilantro, and lime juice in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning. If possible, let the flavors develop for a few minutes before serving with the chips.
Chili-Dusted Plantain Chips with Tomatillo Pico. Peel and thinly slice 3 medium green plantains instead of the sweet potatoes. Bake as above, dust the chips with chili powder instead of the cumin, and serve with the tomatillo pico.