This unique recipe combines some of the best winter delicacies Georgia has to offer: Satsumas, pecans, sweet potatoes, and pomegranates. Make sure to look for Georgia Grown Besties Satsuma Mandarins and Georgia Grown Pecans in your local Kroger or Publix supermarket.
To season the sweet potatoes, whole spices (which are fresher than ground) are toasted in a skillet first to lend their fragrance and flavor to the pecan oil, then roughly crushed on a cutting board; no mortar and pestle necessary. Charring the satsuma lends a caramelized, slightly bitter note in the vinaigrette and the dish itself to complement the sweet potatoes. Serve this salad alongside roasted pork loin and sauteed kale, if you like.
Did you know pomegranates can be grown in Georgia? Some southeast Georgia blueberry farmers have tried growing pomegranates in the off-season, with the help of research conducted at UGA’s Ponder Farm in Tifton. While not yet widely available, we are hopeful that in the future, Georgia pomegranates will be exported all around the state and the country. Talk about Georgia Grown pomegranate pride! Click here to learn more about Georgia’s fledgling pom industry.
- 14 ounces small or medium sweet potatoes
- ¼ teaspoon whole cumin seed
- ¼ teaspoon whole fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pecan oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 satsumas (unpeeled)
- Chili powder of your choice, such as ancho, smoked paprika or cayenne
- 2 tablespoons yogurt or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the sweet potatoes: Wash sweet potatoes thoroughly, then cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into long wedges about 1-inch wide (like steak fries). Heat 1 tablespoon pecan oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin and fennel seed and fry 10 seconds, until fragrant, but not brown. Using a small strainer, strain pecan oil into a medium bowl and transfer drained spices to cutting board. Crush toasted spices using the side of your knife and the heel of your hand. Transfer crushed spices back to the pecan oil in the bowl, add the sweet potato wedges and toss to coat. Season potatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan and bake 30-45 minutes, tossing potatoes halfway through cooking time. Set aside until ready to serve.
Prepare the satsumas: Slice a satsuma, starting from the stem end, into 4-6 thin rounds, about ¼-inch thick. Cut the remaining satsuma in half. Cut one half into ¼-inch thick rounds. Set aside the remaining satsuma half for the yogurt dressing. Wipe out the small skillet and warm over high heat. Char satsuma slices, in batches if necessary, about 2 minutes per side. Use a wide, flat heat-safe spatula to remove slices if they stick to the bottom of the pan. Once charred, set slices on a plate to cool and sprinkle lightly with salt and chili powder of your choice.
Prepare the yogurt dressing: Juice the remaining satsuma half and add to a small bowl. To the bowl, add the remaining 2 teaspoons pecan oil, the yogurt, pomegranate juice, vinegar, honey, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk well. Taste and adjust seasoning. (For a thicker dressing, add additional yogurt.)
To serve: Drizzle some of the yogurt dressing onto a serving dish. Arrange sweet potato wedges over the yogurt, drizzle with the remaining yogurt dressing and top with satsuma slices. Garnish with toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds and scallions. Serves 4-6.