roasted sweet potatoes with nectarines, chiles, and balsamic reduction

This unusual combination of fresh nectarines and roasted sweet potatoes is based on a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi, from his "Jerusalem" cookbook. Instead of nectarines, he uses fresh figs which are more difficult to find in Boston except during their small seasonal window. The chiles and green onions add spice and texture, and help to offset the sweetness of the fruit and balsamic reduction. It is a surprising side dish and can be a bit spicy for some - but totally worth a try if you like adventureous flavor and texture combinations. 


  • Sweet potatoes (4 medium-sized, peeled and sliced into wedges)

  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)

  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Balsamic vinegar (4 tablespoons)

  • Sugar (2 tablespoons)

  • Nectarine (1 small, sliced into thin wedges)

  • Green onions (1 bunch, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces)

  • Red chiles (2 small, sliced into thin rings, seeds included)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Spread the sweet potato wedges onto a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.

  3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato pieces are soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and let cool.

  4. In a small saucepan on the stove, heat the balsamic vinegar and sugar until lightly boiling; reduce heat to low and heat until it is reduced and thickened (enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon).

  5. Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, arrange on a serving platter with the nectarine wedges.

  6. Finally, in a small frying pan, heat the green onion and chile slices in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until fragrant, lightly brown and wilted. Transfer the chiles and green onions on top of the sweet potatoes and nectarines. 

  7. Drizzle the balsamic reduction on top of the dish and serve warm. Garnish with additional sea salt.