When I was growing up, a lot of vegetables didn’t make it to our table, including parsnips, turnips, squash and sweet potatoes, probably because these weren’t familiar to my Belgian parents. And, back in the day, when I did taste these at other tables, they were usually boiled, under-seasoned, mashed to a pulp and utterly unappealing. Needless to say, these vegetables seldom appeared in my kitchen, until, that is, I discovered the magic of roasting.
It couldn’t be easier, as demonstrated by this recipe (I hardly dare call it that, but I’m going to anyway) for roasted sweet potato: peel, chop into approximately 1-inch cubes, strew with chopped garlic, toss in a modest amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and roast on a baking tray covered with parchment paper, turning occasionally until caramelized and dreamily soft and tender on the inside. It’s even easier when you have a big strong guy to do the peeling and chopping for you (thank you, Culinary Enthusiast, for doing the hard labour and letting me rest my wrists!).
I roasted these in a 350ºF oven for about an hour, turning every 20 minutes or so. As you can see from the photo, we enjoyed this sweet potato along with pork chops that I seared, then covered in a zesty marinade and finished in the oven alongside the sweet potato. The tanginess of the marinade complemented the richness of the sweet potato. (I wrote about these Pork Chops with Pizzazz not long after I started blogging. Ah, the old days before I learned a thing or two about food photography.)
One of the advantages of roasting vegetables this way (it works very well with butternut squash and many of its squashy cousins, by the way) is that if you need a different oven temperature for another dish, all you have to do is adjust the baking time accordingly. In fact, if I were making these on their own I’d probably have the oven at 375º or even 400º, and reduce the baking time, but I didn’t want to overcook the pork. So, a little lower and slower for the sweet potato this time.
If you think you don’t like squash or sweet potato, like I used to, just give them a try roasted. You won’t be the first person that I’ve converted, and I daresay not the last either!
I wouldn’t need any converting.. I love sweet potatoes and these look scrumptious! Compliments to your Culinary Enthusiast.. he cut each piece almost identical in shape and size! That is impressive.. I’ve never added garlic to mine, but I shall from now on! xx
I’ll pass the compliment along, Barb – he’ll be most pleased to see that his precision cutting has been noticed!
We love these! I cut them into batons and call them sweet potato fries & they’re a family favorite. I think you just inspired me to add garlic to mine, though!
What a difference a simple change in shape can make! Call them fries and suddenly they’re a guilty pleasure. I make oven fries with Idaho potatoes, but haven’t made sweet potato fries yet; now I’m wondering why!
Hooray for roasted sweet potato! The pork chop recipe reminds me of how my dad makes them and he adds sliced onions to cook alongside the pork. Gotta tell him to pair it with these roasted sweet potato! 😀
Hooray indeed! You can’t go wrong by adding sliced onions to your pork chops – your dad has the right idea!
Funny how a different strategy, a different methodology, a different way leads to new outcomes. Looks absolutely delicious.
That’s true, Rebecca. And as Emmy of the awesome blog Emmy Cooks has pointed out, if I cut them into batons I’d have sweet potato oven fries. Doesn’t take much to make a dish seem entirely new!
So very true – Emmy is pretty smart!!! One idea leads to another and another…
I like the sounds of sweet potato and garlic, would be delicious. Have you ever hard purple sweet potato before? It taste delicious and quite different from the normal orange/yellow ones.
I’ve never had a purple sweet potato, but it sounds like I should seek one out and try it. Thank you for the idea!
I never really know what to do with sweet potato, so thank you!
You’re welcome, Fiona. I hope you enjoy this dish!
I’ve been roasting veggies for some time but haven’t thought to do it with sweet potatoes. I prepare them so rarely that, when I do, I just pop ’em in the oven and wait until they’re done. I bet, though, that if I roast them, they’ll be on my table more often. They’re sugar content make them a natural for oven roasting. This is a great idea, Mar, one I’m sure to take advantage of. Thanks for sharing,
Glad to hear this method has sparked your interest in having more sweet potatoes – they’re so good for you! Once you try them nicely caramelized and tender on the inside, I think you won’t look back!
These look delicious – and I really like sweet potatoes!
I think you’ll like how easy it is to make this, too!
These sweet potatoes had a wonderful flavor and texture….and it was fun chopping them with that new knife.
Having the right tools makes such a difference! Thank you for gifting me with such a quality knife (and for chopping those sweet potatoes)!
Love sweet potatoes! Looks delicious and yes luscious!!
I’m glad you agree with my choice of adjectives … I try to come up with catchy titles that aren’t over the top. I think ‘luscious’ is quite apt for these sweet potatoes!
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