Prep: 10 minutes Total: 50 minutes
To make ahead (up to five hours) prepare recipe through step 2. Cool; cover and refrigerate. About 15 minutes before ready to serve, proceed with recipe.
8 medium sweet potatoes (5 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and halve lengthwise; slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil; season with coarse salt.
Transfer half the potatoes to a second baking sheet; cook both sheets until potatoes are tender, tossing occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, pecan pieces, and cayenne pepper, dividing evenly. Bake until sugar is caramelized and hard, about 10 minutes. Gently toss; serve immediately.
Herb-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the sweet-potato rounds with olive oil, thyme, garlic, red pepper, and salt.
Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, garnish with thyme sprigs, and place in oven. Roast until tender and starting to brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and serve.
Roasted Pears and Sweet Potatoes
Prep: 15 minutes Total: 45 minutes
Bartlett pears have smooth skin. They ripen to a bright yellow and have a soft, sweet flesh. They are good for eating and baking.
2 sweet potatoes, sliced 1 1/2 inches thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 Bartlett pears, cored, quartered, and halved
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub 2 sweet potatoes. Quarter lengthwise; slice diagonally 1 1/2 inches thick. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne; season with coarse salt. Roast, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Core and quarter 2 Bartlett pears; halve crosswise. Add to the potatoes; toss all with another tablespoon oil. Continue roasting until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes more.
Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Lime
Prep: 10 minutes Total: 30 minutes
Dress up sweet potatoes with a flavorful brown sugar glaze. The sweetness of this extra-tasty side dish is balanced by a pinch of cayenne pepper.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sweet potatoes; cook, stirring once, until beginning to brown, 2 minutes.
Add broth, packed brown sugar, and fresh lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook over medium-high until sweet potatoes are tender and liquid is syrupy, 7 to 9 minutes more (there should be only a small amount of liquid remaining).
Remove skillet from heat; add butter, and swirl skillet until melted. Season with salt and pepper.