This Sweet Potato Peanut Hummus Is The Perfect Blend Of Savory & Sweet

Written by Sarah Owens
Sarah Owens is a James Beard Awarded cookbook author, baker, professional horticulturist, and instructor. Her own subscription-based business and workshop space is Ritual Fine Foods (formerly BK17 Bakery), where she teaches the alchemy and digestive benefits of natural leavening.

Image by Ngoc Minh Ngo / Contributor

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This sweet and spicy dip from my book, Heirloom: Time‑Honored Techniques, Nourishing Traditions, and Modern Recipes, combines two hallmarks of Southern cuisine: sweet potatoes and peanuts. If you don't have boiled peanuts, you can substitute an equal volume of cooked chickpeas or another mild cooked dry bean of your choice (but our Spicy Boiled Peanuts* recipe enhances the flavors in the hummus perfectly). Green peanut oil is a regional specialty oil that is worth seeking out for its earthy, vibrant flavor, but you can also use a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil!

Sweet Potato Peanut Hummus

Makes about 1 cup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 11 ounces), roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • 1½ cups (about 12 ounces) Spicy Boiled Peanuts (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 1½ teaspoons harissa or hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons green peanut oil, plus more as needed
  • Small handful of fresh cilantro leaves

For the garnish:

  • Drizzle of green peanut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon crushed toasted peanuts
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon nigella seeds
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Method:

  1. Combine the sweet potato, peanuts, lime juice, peanut butter, harissa, cumin, and salt in a food processor.
  2. Using a microplane, grate the garlic into the bowl of the machine. Process on high speed until smooth.
  3. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil through the hole in the lid until emulsified, adding a little more if needed for a smooth consistency.
  4. Check for salt, then add a handful of cilantro leaves and pulse to combine.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with oil, and decorate with the second handful of cilantro leaves, the nigella seeds, paprika, and crushed toasted peanuts.

*Spicy Boiled Peanuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound raw peanuts in their shells
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 fresh or dried chili
  • 2 or 3 plump cloves garlic 
  • 3 tablespoons fine sea salt
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Method:

  1. Place the peanuts in a bowl, cover with warm water by at least 2 inches, and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Drain the peanuts, place them in a large saucepan, and add the cinnamon, star anise, chili, garlic, and salt.
  3. Add water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. If the peanuts float to the surface, place a stoneware plate into the pot to weigh them down.
  4. Cook with the lid on for 3 to 4 hours, until the shelled peanut has a soft texture and yields to the bite.
  5. Drain and serve as is, or use for Sweet Potato Peanut Hummus.

Recipe excerpted from Heirloom by Sarah Owens © 2019 Sarah Owens. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc. Boulder, Colorado. 

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