Roasted sweet potatoes sound like a fall and winter dish, I know. However, this year’s crop is just coming to grocery stores and they are fresh, sweet and cheap. What more can you ask from a vegetable?
Sweet potatoes are a perennial favorite in our house, and I am always looking for new ways to make them. Usually I bake them whole, then peel and make Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes. This summer I have experimented with making sweet potato chips, with mixed success. After many tries, I think I have a method figured out and I will post on those as soon as I am sure.
The other night I thought I might try roasting them, like when I make oven French fries. I do know from experience that sweet potatoes don’t usually crisp in the oven (please share if you have found the secret to crispy sweet potato oven fries), but I figured roasting would caramelize the sweet potatoes and add that extra layer of flavor. I decided to wait until after they were fully cooked to add the maple syrup and butter so there would be no chance of the toppings burning in the oven.
All of this sounds gourmet and fussy – but it’s not. Peel the sweet potatoes, chop them into cubes, throw them on a baking sheet and roast until soft. I tossed the finished sweet potato chunks with butter and maple syrup and tried to keep my hands off until I got the bowl to the table. They are that good. Calvin and Rich gave them gold stars and I am adding them to my side dish rotation. Not bad for something I thought up on the way home from the grocery store.
Please post in the comments and let me know how you like them, whether you make them now, or wait for cooler weather.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Butter and Maple Syrup
From The Cook’s Life
Try to find smooth, straight sweet potatoes to make peeling them easier. The amounts of butter and maple syrup make a thin, mildly sweet coating on the sweet potatoes. If you want more of a sauce, double the amounts.
2 large sweet potatoes or 4 small ones
1 tablespoon olive oil
Dash salt (optional)
1 tablespoon butter (or less), cut into about four pieces
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into ½-inch cubes and place on baking sheet in a single layer. Try not to crowd the sweet potato cubes – use two baking sheets if necessary.
Drizzle the sweet potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, if desired. Roast for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to turn and stir the cubes. Return the sweet potatoes to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until soft and browned in spots, but not blackened.
Move sweet potatoes to a serving bowl and add the butter and maple syrup. Stir gently until butter is melted and sweet potatoes are evenly coated with butter and maple syrup. Serve immediately.
*I used Grade B real maple syrup. Feel free to use Grade A, which is more mildly flavored, or imitation maple syrup. Use what you have on hand.