Cold sweet potatoes are key to making this umami-packed vegetarian dish

Spiced sunflower seeds and caramelized onions add punch to chilled chunks of precooked sweet potatoes in this dish from "Start Simple" by Lukas Volger.
(Cara Howe)

In the new cookbook “Start Simple” by Lukas Volger — the editorial director of Jarry magazine and a close friend of mine — 11 ingredients are highlighted to show how precooking them and keeping them stocked in your fridge or pantry at all times makes putting together dinner, especially on a busy weeknight, a breeze. Case in point: sweet potatoes.

In this recipe, Volger says to gently roast sweet potatoes in their skins until tender, then refrigerate them. Once cooled, he says, you can add them to salads, grain bowls, smoothies and quickbreads easily. Or, make this quick but dressed-up dinner side dish by combining them with yogurt, onions, spices and seeds. The whole mix gets a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to highlight the earthy sweet potato and seed mix, which is also delicious spooned over rice or roasted vegetables, or as a dipping sauce for bread.

Caramelized onions and spices add punch to cold sweet potatoes in a pantry-staple side dish.