Loaded Sweet Potato with Fermented Pomegranate Ginger Salsa & Whipped Tahini

Loaded Sweet Potato with Fermented Pomegranate Ginger Salsa & Whipped Tahini

Pomegranates have a tendency to spoil quickly and sometimes are difficult to find when you’re craving one. What if you could keep a jar of fermented pomegranate salsa in your fridge to use as a topping to amplify almost any dish?  

This fermented pomegranate ginger salsa is both sweet and tangy while carrying a bit of a kick. The pomegranates are fermented with ginger, serrano peppers, ginger, shallots and mustard seeds — they’re quite literally bursting with flavor.  

An added benefit to fermenting your pomegranate seeds is that the interior becomes easier to chew.

The combination of a baked sweet potato topped with whipped tahini, fermented pomegranate ginger salsa, cilantro and sesame seeds comes together quite effortlessly but also tastes elevated. It is perfect to make in advance for entertaining, meal prep or lunch on the go, and is versatile enough to become a welcome addition to your table as a side dish for any occasion.  

What’s Good to Know with Chef Olivia:

  • Use ice-cold water when making your whipped tahini for a creamier and more aerated finish.
  • Fermenting pomegranate seeds in pomegranate juice both amplifies the flavor and helps the seeds maintain their rose hue.
  • Use your pomegranate ginger salsa to top crostini, salads, proteins, avocado toast or even your next batch of nachos.
  • Venting sweet potatoes and wrapping them in foil helps them use their own moisture to steam — resulting in a denser and sweeter cooked tuber.
  • Adding an acid such as lemon juice to your whipped tahini lightens the sesame paste’s naturally tan hue to a pale beige finish.
  • Showcase the liquid brine created from the ferment in a pomegranate-flavored vinaigrette or in your next cocktail.

Learn from Chef Olivia in our Plant-Based Culinary Arts Program


Loaded Sweet Potato with Fermented Pomegranate Ginger Salsa & Whipped Tahini


For the Fermented Pomegranate Ginger Salsa:
Yield: 1 quart-sized jar

  • 2 pomegranates, deseeded
  • 2 serrano peppers, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small piece ginger, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, or enough to cover

For the Whipped Tahini:
Yield: 1 1/2 cups tahini

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste

For Assembly:

  • 8 small sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups fermented pomegranate ginger salsa
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds


For the Fermented Pomegranate Ginger Salsa:

  1. Add pomegranate seeds, diced serrano peppers, shallots, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, sugar, salt and apple cider vinegar to a medium bowl.
  2. Gently massage and allow mixture to sit for five minutes.
  3. Pack mixture into a sterilized, quart-sized glass jar along with any residual liquid.
  4. Add fermentation weight and cover with pomegranate juice, until level reaches the top of the bottom rim.
  5. Fasten an airlock lid and ferment at room temperature for 5 to 7 days.
  6. Transfer to refrigerator for extended storage.

For the Whipped Tahini:

  1. Add tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic cloves and sea salt to a high-speed blender.
  2. Briefly process on high speed until smooth and aerated.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Use a paring knife to make a few cuts into each sweet potato and wrap in foil.
  3. Place on a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes or until tender.
  4. Cool slightly and split cooked sweet potatoes lengthwise.
  5. Top with whipped tahini, pomegranate ginger salsa, cilantro and sesame seeds.

More fermented recipes from Chef Olivia:

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