Sweet potatoes are one of those "Hated as a kid and didn't realize what I was missing" foods for me. I always passed on the sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving in my youth in favor of the regular potato dish. They were too vivid, too different, too sweet, too orange.
Now regular white potatoes seem dull and flavorless in comparison. The intense flavor that comes from roasting these beauties is unbelievable.
In general I am a fan of roasting vegetables. Their flavor is intensified and the carmelized outlayer is coveted while the creamy interiors are practically seductive. I've noticed that even vegetable-haters (ahem- NH :-) will praise and gobble them up. Usually all they need is a drizzle of olive oil and some salt, about 30 minutes in a really high oven until they slightly char.
But when I came across this recipe for sweet potatoes dusted with cinnamon and a little sugar, I had to try it. I've mentioned my addiction to that particular spice before so I knew this couldn't be anything but yummy. Almost like candy, this would be a nice experiment, a departure from my usual methods.
Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 Tablespoons Walnut Oil
1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3/4 Tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar blend (double the amount if using regular brown sugar)
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A pinch of ground pepper
*Optional: chopped Pecans and/or crumbled Goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toss sweet potatoes in the walnut oil and place in a baking dish. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing in the middle for even cooking. In the meantime, combine the brown sugar blend, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and optional pecans if using. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the potatoes with the brown sugar mixture. Roast another 10-15 minutes, tossing in the middle once again. Serve immediately or allow to cool a bit. Serves 3 as a side dish.
On a whim I decided to add some pecans to the dish right before adding the spices. This addition was delicious but not obligatory.
Since I was eating these sweet potatoes as my dinner I wanted to add a little something extra for protein, so I topped my bowl with a small amount of crumbled goat cheese. The flavor combination was wonderfully salty-sweet. Between the two I'd repeat the goat cheese before the pecans due to the nice contrast it made.
Update: Lunch, One Day Later
I prepared a salad with greens, shredded cabbage and carrot, cucumber, and feta cheese with walnut oil and balsamic vinegar. I decided to add a little of the leftover sweet potatoes; not a combination I would have normally thought of but it was delicious! I plan to have the same lunch tomorrow, using the remainder of the potatoes. :-)