If you follow the ToneMan blog through Facebook you may have seen some recent requests for Roasted Sweet Potatoes. I recently wrote about roasted kale and the recipe is almost identical. Sweet potatoes have both great texture and great flavor when roasted. There is a lot of sugar in them (hence the name) and where there’s sugar there’s the potential for caramelization. This is what happens when food “browns”. The sugar in the food begins to cook turning brown (and eventually black) the same as if it were just sugar in a pan. It changes the texture and it puts forth this deep rich flavor that is between sweet and bitter.
Start by peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes. You could leave the peel on, but it in my opinion that does not work as well on this recipe as it would, say, with roasted potatoes which are left larger. In this case the small dice calls for peeling them.
Once in the bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with the seasoning of your choice. It could be just salt and pepper, it could be a mixture of dried herbs such as Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence, or it could be hearty fresh herbs such as chopped rosemary or sage. Once you have seasoned, mix well with the oil and spread the potatoes out on a sheet pan. I like to use a sheet of parchment paper underneath simply to make it easier to clean the pan. It does not affect the cooking.
Now roast them in a hot oven (400°) for 30-40 minutes. The amount of time will depend on factors like how accurate your oven is, what size you cut the potatoes, etc. The important thing is to keep an eye on them after 30 minutes. They can be turned with a spatula half-way through, but I find that unnecessary.
You will know they are done when you see a uniform brown face on the cubes. The longer you leave them in the more brown they will get and the more light and crispy they will get. This is a matter of personal preference; just remove them before the brown turns to black.
This makes a great side dish with any meal and is a healthy thing to eat for kids and adults alike. It also has the advantage that they can be prepared in advance to the roasting step.