This post is in partnership with California Grown.
I’m slow to transition out of winter produce, especially with sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes (which is probably obvious). This toast is a delightful savory breakfast that’s easily adaptable for a different time of year.
California Sweet Potatoes
February is always an interesting time in California. The almond orchards go full bloom and the weather often starts to feel like it’s spring midway through the month. The produce also slowly starts to change, but I’m usually cramming the last bit of winter produce into my recipes.
Luckily, California produce has me covered through all the seasonal transitions. California grows one-third of the vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts grown in the United States. Drive around the state any time of year and you can see something growing or being harvested!
Best of all, you can make this meal year-round because California sweet potatoes are available year-round and cured on the vines (thanks to our weather!) Vine curing helps sweet potatoes last longer and keeps chemicals off the vegetable.
Make it Vegan
Easily make this vegan one of two ways: vegan ricotta or swap out the ricotta entirely. Make something like this almond ricotta or use a bean puree (I always seem to have hummus on hand and it works perfectly with the harissa!)
Finally, to balance the richness of the ricotta and the spice from the harissa, there needs to be an herb topping. Don’t be contained by the parsley, though. Cilantro would work just as well. I’ve also been known to use this herb oil as well!
1 small sweet potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa paste (see note)
¾ cup whole milk ricotta
2 slices of whole-grain bread
1 cup loosely packed parsley
Zest from ½ lemon
- Give the sweet potato a good scrub, pat dry, and cut into ¼” cubes. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil followed by the sweet potatoes. Cook the sweet potatoes, stirring every couple of minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender and starting to brown, 10 to 15 minutes (depending on how hot your skillet is).
- Stir in the garlic and salt; cook for about a minute more, until the garlic is fragrant. Turn off the heat and stir in the harissa paste.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, place the parsley on a cutting board and add the lemon zest on top. Mince until combined and the herbs are extremely fine.
- Toast the bread and divide the ricotta on top of each piece of bread. Divide the sweet potatoes on top of the ricotta and finish with a heavy sprinkle of the herb mixture.
Harissa paste comes in varying amounts of heat. My homemade version is more on the mild side while many store-bought versions are extremely spicy. Taste and use accordingly.