The Ultimate Vegetarian Topping for Sweet Potatoes

When there’s something already cooking in the oven, I usually pop two fork-stabbed and foil-wrapped sweet potatoes in to keep it company. Approximately 45 minutes (depending on sweet potato size and circumference) elapse, and presto change-o, you’ve got lunch or dinner for the next day.

If you’re heating up the oven just for the potatoes, try assembling a topping while they bake. I call this recipe the ultimate vegetarian topping, because in my world when you say “ultimate” next to “topping,” it usually indicates bacon and some form of heavy dairy product, maybe even crispy onions.  There is no meat in this topping, and I like to indicate that in the title so that I’m not playing a “horrible, nasty trick” on a certain someone who was “expecting pork sprinkles.”

Anyway, this topping is especially nice because it counters the sweetness of the potatoes, but still has a cheese indulgence.  There is far too much cheese consumption in this house to actually consider it an indulgence, but let’s not quibble over details.

The Ultimate Vegetarian Topping for Sweet Potatoes
(Inspired by a recipe I once read but can’t remember where, plus changes)

1 jalapeño, deseeded and finely minced (or half of the jalapeño, if you prefer less heat)
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Bunch of fresh cilantro, rinsed well and chopped
Lime juice (approx. 2 teaspoons, or whatever comes out of half of a lime)
Salt
Fresh mozzarella
Two baked sweet potatoes

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and lime juice. Add the jalapeño, garlic, most of the cilantro, and salt to taste.  Whisk together, and then spoon a little bit over the baked sweet potatoes, which  should be split and warm. Shred some of the mozzarella over the top using your hands (I prefer the ovolini size that come packed in water), then spoon over more of the topping and the rest of the chopped cilantro as garnish.

*Notes: I used lemon instead of lime because that’s what I had.  It worked fine, but lime is a bit better. Some chopped spring onions provided a little extra garnish.  This is especially good with a side of steamed mustard greens or kale, black eyes peas, or salad.

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