I love potatoes as much as the next guy, but their orange cousins blow ’em out of the water when it comes to flavor.
They are cheap, tasty, and simple to prepare (even easier than winter squash, actually). They are also full of yummy starchy goodness. (More caloric bang for your buck).
Sweet Potato Primer
The sweet potato is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, and humans have been eating them for thousands of years.
And fortunately for you, the tastiest way of preparing them is also the easiest–baking.
Let’s clear up one piece of confusion first: you aren’t “baking” the potatoes like you would a pie. In actuality you are roasting it–cooking at a relatively low temperature in a closed environment.
Don’t let the name confuse you. It’s the same method you use for roasting meat and other starchy veggies.
Ingredients and Equipment
- Sweet potatoes (as many or as few as you’d like)
The only equipment you’ll need is a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe baking dish).
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Poke each sweet potato several times with a fork. This will help ensure they don’t blow up in the oven. KA-BOOM! Place them in the skillet.
Put everything in the oven for about 45 minutes or so. The sweet potatoes are completely cooked when you can insert and remove a knife through the centers without much resistance. You’ve got plenty of leeway here, and I’d suggest cooking them a bit longer until you know what to expect.
Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, add some butter and salt and pepper, and it’s ready to serve!
Like winter squash, some people like to add some extra sweetness. I’d suggest maple syrup or molasses if you’re going to go this route.
Another thing you could do is peel and dice the potatoes before roasting. I like to do this if I’m roasting up a bunch of veggies together (e.g. carrots, onions, garlic) and it also works great as a “bed” to roast your chicken on!
But if you sully your baked sweet potatoes with multicolored marshmallows, then I officially hate you.
The Amazing Sweet Potato
A baked sweet potato is truly a marvel to behold.
The skin is crispy, the inside is soft and starchy, and it is oozing the slightest bit of caramelized sugars.
Slap on a little bit of rich butter and salt and pepper to enhance the flavor, and you have one of the greatest wintertime veggies!