Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Figs

Jonathan Lovekin


  • small sweet potatoes
  • 5 Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon  superfine sugar
  • 12  green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2 inch segments
  • red chile, thinly sliced
  • ripe figs, quartered
  • 5 Ounces  soft got's milk cheese
  •   Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

More Recipes

by Jerusalem Cookbook

Figs are abundant in Jerusalem and many trees, bearing the most delectable fruit, actually belong to no one, so anybody can help themselves. Summer months are always tinted with the smell of wild herbs and ripe figs. This unusual combination of fresh fruit and roasted vegetables is one of the most popular at Ottolenghi. It wholly depends, though, on the figs being sweet, moist, and perfectly ripe. Go for plump fruit with an irregular shape and a slighty split bottom. Pressing against the skin should result in some resistance but not much. Try to smell the sweetness. The balsamic reduction is very effective here, both for the look and for rounding up the flavors. To save you from making it, you can look for products such as balsamic cream or glaze.


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Wash the sweet potatoes, halve them lengthwise, and then cut each half again similarly into 3 long wedges. Mix with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and some black pepper. Spread the wedges out, skin side down, on a baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.

To make the balsamic reduction, place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2-4 minutes, until it thickens. Be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the vinegar is still runnier than honey; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in a drop of water before serving if it does become too thick to drizzle.

Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the green onions and chile. Fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the chile. Spoon the oil, onions, and chile over the sweet potatoes. Dot the figs among the wedges and then drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Serve at room temperature. Crumble the cheese over the top, if using. 


Reprinted with permission from Jerusalem by Totam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


Calories per serving:

476 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 117g 180%
  • Carbs 178g 59%
  • Saturated 37g 185%
  • Fiber 25g 99%
  • Trans 2g
  • Sugars 99g
  • Monounsaturated 61g
  • Polyunsaturated 10g
  • Protein 46g 92%
  • Cholesterol 145mg 48%
  • Sodium 1,159mg 48%
  • Calcium 1,319mg 132%
  • Magnesium 227mg 57%
  • Potassium 2,650mg 76%
  • Iron 7mg 40%
  • Zinc 7mg 48%
  • Phosphorus 968mg 138%
  • Vitamin A 3,074µg 342%
  • Vitamin C 77mg 129%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 41%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 68%
  • Niacin (B3) 4mg 22%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 69%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 215µg 54%
  • Vitamin B12 1µg 21%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 13mg 66%
  • Vitamin K 441µg 552%
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