Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 2 sweet potatoes
- Rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 tbsp polenta
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 celeriac
- 25g Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative)
For the marinade:
- 1 red chilli
- Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
For the salsa verde:
- 3 cornichons
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 small bunch each of fresh mint, basil and parsley
- Zest and juice of ½ an unwaxed lemon
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6. Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients together.
Step 2: Carefully cut the sweet potatoes into thin sticks about 1cm thick. Place them on a baking tray, drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper and scatter over the polenta. Crush the garlic cloves with the side of a knife, add them to the tray, toss the whole lot together and put into the oven for 25 minutes.
Step 3: Fill a medium saucepan with hot water from the kettle and bring to the boil. Thickly peel the celeriac, then slice it into 2cm thick steaks and blanch in the boiling water for 5 minutes, until just tender.
Step 4: Finely chop the red chilli and mix it with the lemon juice, maple syrup, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper to make a marinade.
Step 5: Once the 5 minutes are up, drain the celeriac and put it into the marinade. Prepare the barbecue. Remember to keep an eye on the sweet potatoes and turn them from time to time so that they brown evenly.
Step 6: To make the salsa verde, roughly chop the cornichons and capers, then add the herbs and chop everything together. Scoop into a bowl, grate in the lemon zest, squeeze in the juice and add 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the marinade from the celeriac. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Step 7: Place the celeriac on the barbecue for 2–3 minutes on each side, until charred and cooked through, basting with the remaining marinade every minute or so.
Step 8: Five minutes before the sweet potatoes are ready, turn the oven up to its maximum temperature. Take the fries out, grate over the Parmesan, then pop back into the oven to crisp up.
Step 9: Serve the steaks with the fries and a generous spoon of salsa verde, and, if you like, with a green salad.
From A Modern Way To Cook by Anna Jones (£25, Fourth Estate), out now