Baked Sweet Potato with Spinach, Parsley, Ricotta and Crispy Chickpeas
2 large sweet potatoes
250 g sheep’s milk ricotta
400 g baby spinach
1 bunch parsley
1 teaspoon powdered fenugreek
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
A couple of twists of salt & pepper
1 tin chickpeas
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
Begin by pre-heating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. While this is happening use a brush to clean the outside of the sweet potatoes under water then leave to dry. Continue by emptying a can of chickpeas into a sieve and then rinsing with cold water. If you have pre-shelled chickpeas, leave to drip dry. Otherwise, add the chickpeas to a large bowl then cover with warm water and use your hand to rub the chickpeas together and loosen the skin, scooping this out and discarding. Once you have shelled all the chickpeas, rinse and leave to drain. Now heat a small frying pan and add the coriander and cumin seeds, heat stirring continually until they start to smoke and pop and immediately transfer to a grinder. Grind to a powder and add this with the chickpeas and a couple of twists of salt & pepper to a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray then spread the chickpeas out on half the tray.
Continue by taking a fork and then piercing the outsides of the sweet potatoes all over. Then use a sharp large knife to cut the potatoes in half lengthways and then place them cut side down on the baking tray with the chickpeas and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, take a large bowl and place the ricotta, fenugreek and nutmeg in it. Heat a large saucepan of water and once it boils add the spinach, stir so all the spinach wilts for a minute then drain and rinse with cold water for 2-3 minutes. Now use your hands to gather together the spinach and squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can. Then place on a chopping board and cut into small pieces. Rinse the parsley and repeat the cutting then place in the bowl with the ricotta and mix thoroughly. When the 30 minutes is up, turn the chickpeas and place the sweet potatoes on their skin side and bake for another 20 minutes. After this, remove from the oven and use a knife to cut into the soft potatoes, mixing it up a bit and making a well. Add a good dollop of the spinach/ricotta mix then place back in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve onto plates and top with the chickpeas.