Canarian sweet potatoes with green mojo sauce or boniatos con mojo verde is a delicious tapa from the Canary Islands. A simple toothsome dish consisting of baked sweet potatoes topped with a sauce called green mojo, a typical Canary sauce chiefly made of garlic, coriander —or parsley or both—, cumin seeds, vinegar and olive oil.
Sweet potatoes are a very popular tuber in Spain, especially in the confection of sweets and pastries, but in the Canary Islands, its use is not limited to that. They can be found in stews and various savory dishes such as the sanchoco canario, fish stewed with potatoes, sweet potatoes, gofio and green mojo sauce.
Mojos are a type of fresh, quick and spicy sauces from the traditional Canarian cuisine. You can find many types of mojos from the most traditional such as the red or green mojo to the riskiest innovations found in the kitchens of contemporary restaurants. We —of course— opt for the most deeply rooted.
It may not be the most famous and common tapa from the Canary Islands like papas arrugadas, however, the sweet aromatic mellowing flavor of this orange or yellow tuber along with the tart spicy freshness of the sauce is really a perfect combination, in other words, it deserves definitely a place in our repertoire of recipes.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 0.35oz (10g) fresh coriander leaves
- A couple of pinches coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 small green peppers, seeded
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 23oz (650g) sweet potatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Virgin olive oil
- Pound garlic, coriander, salt, cumin seeds and green peppers in a mortar to obtain a paste.
- Mix in the vinegar and drizzle in the olive oil gradually.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230ºC.) and brush the bottom of a baking tray with olive oil or cover it with baking paper.
- Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly and brush them with some olive oil if they are small or slice them if they are large and then brush with some olive oil.
- Place them on the baking tray and bake from 30 to 45 minutes or until soft.
- Serve the baked sweet potatoes along with the green mojo bowl and finish them by garnishing with some coriander leaves or toasted cumin seeds.
Tips for perfect sweet potatoes with green mojo :
- You can use large or small sweet potatoes. If you can not find small ones you can make thick slices of the larger ones.
- Use Covington or white sweet potatoes, or a mix of both as we have done for this post.
- We did not peel the sweet potatoes, but it is up to you whether to peel them or not.
- If you prefer to use less oil in your recipes try to boil the sweet potatoes, just like some Canarians do.
- It would be a nice and savory twist on this recipe if you make fried sticks of sweet potatoes instead of baking or boiling them.
- Use only the coriander leaves and discard the stems.
- The authentic peppers used for making mojos are also called pimientas piconas or pimientas palmeras. They can be sweet or hot also and we let you choose the one you like best.
- You can also substitute the Canarian green pepper for a few pieces of green bell pepper or use tiny hot green chilli peppers of your choice.
- If you find the green mojo sauce too thick add some water while you whisk to emulsify the sauce.
- Add crumbled or grilled steaks of tuna to this recipe as some bars in The Canaries would do.
Finally, enjoy these Canarian sweet potatoes with green mojo sauce along with some bread and a glass of white wine from Tacoronte-Acentejo DO or any from La Palma DO, considered by the experts as exceptional wines.