Conventional wisdom – at least in my household – is that there’s nothing better than a roasted potato. Call me contrary, but I reckon a roasted kūmara knocks a roasted spud out of the park every time. Even our dog, who has become a bit of a dietary fusspot in recent months, loves them (though, to be fair, he wolfs down plain, boiled kūmara too).
Here’s my new favourite way to eat roasted kūmara – bathed in sweet, salty, spiced butter.
ROASTED KŪMARA WITH DATE, CHILLI AND CORIANDER BUTTER
There are lots of absolute whopper kūmara out there, but I think the smaller ones (about 20cm long) are best for this recipe. Choose the purple-skinned variety (confusingly, these are called ‘Original Red’) as these are best for roasting or turning into chips. Keeping the skin on means saving time and nutrients – just give them a scrub under the tap, trim off any hairy bits and dry them well with a clean tea towel before proceeding with the recipe.
- For the kūmara:
- 4 small red kūmara (look for the Original Red variety)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- For the butter:
- 125g butter (softened, but not melted)
- ½ cup finely chopped dates
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
- A good pinch of chilli flakes or ½ a small red chilli, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200C. Rub the kūmara all over with olive oil and set on a small baking tray. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the kūmara are soft (they should yield to the pressure of a finger).
While the kūmara are baking, put the butter, dates, coriander seeds, orange zest and chilli in a small bowl. Beat until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside (this can be done in advance and kept, covered, in the fridge for up to a week).
When the kūmara are cooked, remove them from the oven. Cut down the centre of each one and dollop a quarter of the butter on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4 as a side dish (or serve one per person with a green salad for lunch).
Hot tip: if you don’t have or don’t fancy kūmara, take it from me that the butter is DELICIOUS on hot toast or crumpets. Especially crumpets that are a little bit charred at the edges.
Want more kūmara inspo?
Here’s a love letter to kūmara that includes some handy advice about varieties and growing your own.
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