Roasted Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto

Roasted Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto

Ingredients:

Serves 6; makes 2 cups pesto
For the sweet potatoes:
-2 pounds sweet potatoes
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-Chunky kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:
-2 bunches cilantro
-3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
-3/4 cup shelled pistachios
-4 cloves garlic
-1 hot pepper, such as jalapeño or Thai, optional
-1 lemon, juiced
-1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
-Salt to taste

Cooking method:   

Heat the oven to 450°F. Slice the sweet potatoes in rounds about 1/2-inch thick. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the pesto. Roughly chop the cilantro and blend both leaves and stems with the coconut, pistachios, garlic, hot pepper (if using), and lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and blend until smooth. Add the rest, if desired. Taste and add salt (or more garlic, or more acid) until satisfied. If desired, thin the pesto with water to make it spreadable.

When sweet potatoes are cooked through, spread on a platter and top with pesto. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
On the pesto: This is an unusual pesto, so I strongly suggest adding only a little salt and lemon juice, or a quarter of a pepper, and tasting, before adding the rest. Keep tweaking until you love it!
Nut-free adaptation: The pistachios can be left out. They make this a little nuttier and more interesting in texture, but the pesto is still very good without them. You can also substitute another nut, or seeds such as pumpkin (pepitas) or sunflower.

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