Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Figs

One of my friends, that I happen to be visiting with recently, is on a very restricted diet which excludes all dairy, eggs, gluten, night-shades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers…), sugar, grains, seeds, and nuts.  Honestly, I’m not sure how one functions, or even exists, on such a diet, but she insists that it’s a viable medical thing.  Either way, it’s been a challenge to cook for her, especially, with the lack of usable spices.  Even black pepper is out.  Apparently it falls into the seed category of non comestibles.  The recipe below is a stripped down version of one of my favorite recipes from Jerusalem.  I’ve winnowed the original recipe down to 5 “safe” ingredients.  I was slightly worried that I would miss some of the bolder ingredients such as the peppers and cheese, but I was still delightfully satisfied with the final product.  It’s maybe a little sweeter then what one might expect from a dinner side, but it complemented the steak I served it with nicely.  I could also easily see this being served for breakfast or brunch.



  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
  • Salt for seasoning
  • 3-4 Figs
  • Balsamic Reduction (It can be bought already reduced, just keep an eye out for extra sugars or thickeners, or you can slowly cook down balsamic vinegar into a syrupy reduction)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).
  2. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes.
  3. Toss them in the olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt.
  4. Arrange them onto a greased or non-stick baking dish.
  5. Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes, or until you can poke them easily with a fork.
  6. Slice up the figs.
  7. Sprinkle the figs over the roasted sweet potatoes.
  8. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the dish, and plate up while the potatoes are still warm.


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