Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Tomato Parsley Salad and Garlic Hummus Sauce

This is a big week in our house. Our anniversary and one little girl’s third birthday are back-to-back this weekend, and in honor of the latter, my mother arrived last night for an extended visit, and my father will join us Friday night. And I’m working this week, too! But that doesn’t mean we’re ordering in every night, no sir. My mom is a vegetarian, so I wanted to have a dinner ready for her arrival that was healthy and filling but didn’t look like a side dish. Between the Farmers Market bounty we pulled in this weekend, and a few other things I knew we had on hand, I pulled this number together thanks to a nudge in this direction from a few recent Pinterest finds that caught my attention. I guess I’m really into sweet potatoes and chickpeas these days, but why not? They’re delicious, protein-rich, and filling without being heavy. Combined with a bright, fresh salad and a creamy, garlicky, sauce, this one’s moving into the rotation. Since not all of us embrace the meatless dinner concept, I also pan-seared a steak for my husband (and daughter) to enjoy alongside. But I ate only the potato dish, and I was completely satisfied. It’s a winner. So here you go.

(for about 4 servings)
* 4 medium sweet potatoes
* 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (you could use more – this was j* enough)
* olive oil
* 1/4C hummus (I used garlic hummus)
* juice of 1 lemon, divided
* 1t dried dill
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* water
* 1/4-1/2C cherry or grape or sunburst tomatoes, halved (again, you could use more – this, too, was just enough)
* 1/4C chopped fresh parsley
* sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F, and prepare a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Wash your sweet potatoes and cut in half length-wise. Rinse and drain your chickpeas. Toss the chickpeas with some olive oil to coat, and hand-rub your sweet potatoes with olive oil as well. Then place your sweet potatoes cut side down on the baking sheet, and pour the chickpeas over them to fill up the empty spaces in between them.

Pop that puppy into your oven and roast at 400F for 30 minutes.

While the potatoes and chickpeas are in the oven, prepare your sauce and your salad topping. For the sauce, add the hummus, juice of 1/2 a lemon, dill, and minced garlic to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Then slowly add water in very small amounts to thin out your sauce until it’s just loose enough to pour evenly and you’ve gotten and thick components to smooth out.

Taste it and see if you need to season it at all (I don’t think you will want to, but you never know, I suppose). Then refrigerate your sauce until you’re ready to serve your meal.

Next, prepare your tomato parsley salad topping. We got these beautiful and amazingly sweet yellow sunburst tomatoes at the Farmers Market over the weekend. The little sign in front of them described them as “summer candy.” Irresistible. That’s what I went with for this salad topping. But any variety of tiny tomatoes will work great here. Just slice them in half and add them to a bowl with the roughly chopped fresh parsley. Squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon over the top, and season lightly with sea salt, to taste. The end. Set it aside.

When your sweet potatoes and chickpeas are done in the oven, take them out and let them cool for just about 2-3 minutes. They will be a dark, rich brown color and smell amazing. Resist the urge to pop a taste into your mouth because you will burn yourself and ruin the glorious meal you’re about to enjoy.

Then, using a spoon, push down the center of the potatoes to create a slight bowl-like scenario (without losing any of the roasted sweet potato goodness).

Top first with a nice scoop of the chickpeas, and then with the tomato topping.

Generously spoon the light, cold sauce you made earlier over the top and serve warm.

Satisfies all diners, guaranteed. Even those who scoff at the idea of a hearty vegetarian dinner.
(Main inspiration was this recipe; I eliminated some seasonings and made a few other minor tweaks. But dang, this one is great! Thanks, Minimalist Baker!)

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