As most of us know by now January is a good time to make a fresh start towards eating healthy. So, I couldn’t help feeling a bit virtuous while eating this roasted sweet potato for lunch one cold winter afternoon. With every spoonful I was raising my levels of vitamin A and getting a nice boost of beta-carotene. But in all honesty I was feeling good from the warm melted butter , the generous sprinkling of dark muscovado sugar and the freshly ground black pepper. It was both sweet and savory and a nice unexpected treat for lunch.
Sometimes I forget about the many ways in which a sweet potato can be cooked and end up only eating them candied during the holidays. I forget that a sweet potato can be treated in much the same way as a white potato; it can be mashed into a puree, tucked into an au gratin even cubed and fried like hash browns.
So recently when I found I had extra sweet potatoes, rather than forget about them only to discover them much later shriveled and a bit rubbery, I decided I’d roast them. Everthing tastes better roasted and sweet potatoes are no exception. Their flesh becomes soft and yields a natural sweetness that will satisfy any sweet craving. Yet, they can also be savory. I like this combination of sweet brown sugar and the spice hit from the black pepper. If you felt like it you could also drizzle the roasted sweet potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil and really good sea salt.
This had to be the easiest lunch I have ever made. Even easier than making a sandwich because there was really no work involved. Once I rubbed the sweet potatoes with some olive oil I simply popped them in the oven and let it do all the work. I sat down with a good book and less than an hour later I had a nice healthy lunch that doesn’t need to be reserved only for January. I have started keeping sweet potatoes in the house because I enjoy eating them this way and it feels much better than eating something that’s not so good for me. Don’t think you have to eat this alone, for a more complete lunch or dinner serve it alongside baked chicken or any pork dish.
recipe:whole roasted sweet potatoes with, dark muscovado sugar and fresh ground black pepper
Note: dark muscovado brown sugar can be found in the supermarket baking section next to other sugars. You can use regular dark brown sugar but muscovado sugar has a more complex flavor and can be used just like brown sugar, so it’s a good investment you won’t regret.
a few medium-sized sweet potatoes-unpeeled, depending on how many people you will serve, you can also just roast one
olive oil, for rubbing the skin
dark muscovado sugar (see head note)
Preheat oven 400°. Lightly rub sweet potatoes with oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until sweet potatoes are completely tender and the skin is crisp.
Carefully remove cooked sweet potato from oven and while still hot split the top and insert a pat or two of butter. Gently squeeze each end of sweet potato to expose the orange flesh a bit and sprinkle with a generous amount of muscovado sugar and freshly ground black pepper.