I thought I knew how to roast a sweet potato, but I was wrong. Sure, pricking a sweet potato with a fork, wrapping it in tinfoil, and roasting it until done at 350 degrees Fahrenheit works, but there is a better way. A method that’s equally uncomplicated, takes no more time, and yields superlative results. This method comes courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen’s recently released How to Roast Everything, and, I suspect is the only way I will ever roast a sweet potato ever again.
Essentially, it combines two classic methods into one. First, you microwave a (pricked) sweet potato until soft, then you roast it for about an hour so that it gets almost creamy and takes on an intense, slightly caramelized flavor.
As for what to do with said roasted sweet potato, the sky’s the limit:
- Do as the folks at ATK do and dollop it with a bit of dressed-up sour cream (their recipe calls for a bit of minced chives, garlic, and salt).
- Try a garam masala yogurt (plain yogurt seasoned with lemon juice, garam masala, and salt).
- Stay simple and drop a generous pat of salted butter into one while it’s still steaming.
- Do a classic steakhouse take, mash together some salted butter, cinnamon, and sugar before slathering it on, for a sweet-leaning side.
- Or, if you’re looking for an excellent, healthy, make-ahead breakfast, do as I’ve been doing lately, and scoop out the flesh, mash it up with some warm spices, collagen peptides, and salt, then dollop it with maple-tahini sauce, and some fun toppings. It is even better than it sounds.
Best Baked Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from How to Roast Everything: A Game-Changing Guide to Building Flavor in Meat, Vegetables, and More by America’s Test Kitchen
- 4 small (8-ounce) sweet potatoes, unpeeled, each lightly pricked with fork in 3 places
- kosher salt
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Arrange potatoes on a large microwave-safe plate or baking dish and microwave until potatoes yield to gentle pressure and reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 6 to 9 minutes, flipping potatoes every 3 minutes at first, and checking on them every 1 minute after the 6 minute mark.
- Line a half-sheet pan with aluminum foil, arrange a wire rack on top of that, and spray the wire rack with nonstick spray. (If you don’t have nonstick spray, use a paper towel to rub oil on the rack.) Transfer the potatoes to the prepared rack and bake for 1 hour (exteriors will be lightly browned and potatoes will feel very soft when squeezed).
- Slit each potato lengthwise; using clean dish towel, hold ends and squeeze slightly to push flesh up and out. Transfer potatoes to serving dish. Season generously with salt.
Notes: The same method can be employed with larger sweet potatoes; adjust the microwave time accordingly, using a thermometer and textural cues to determine their readiness for the oven. In my experience 8-ounce sweet potatoes are usually ready to go around the 7 minute mark, larger ones (even up to 14 ounces) closer to 9 minutes.
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