The trick to creamy and flavorful sweet potatoes with a slightly crisp, caramelized crust is par-cooking the potatoes at the right temperature, which converts their starches into sweet maltose. Then we roast them in the oven for just under an hour for tender, extra-sweet wedges. Tossed in olive oil, parsley, and a bit of honey, they're a crowd-pleasing side for any wintertime meal.
Why It Works
- Par-cooking the potatoes in water between 135 and 170°F (57 and 77°C) activates an enzyme that converts their starch into maltose, making them especially flavorful and sweet, without any need for extra sugar
- Yield:Serves 6 to 8
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:At least 2 hours
- 3 pounds (1.4kg) sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Heat water to 160°F as registered on an instant read thermometer. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 400°F. Drain sweet potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread sweet potatoes on two rimmed baking sheets and roast until bottom side is browned, about 30 minutes. Carefully flip potatoes with thin offset spatula and roast until second side is browned and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes longer.
Transfer to a large bowl. Toss with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, and honey (or maple syrup or agave nectar, if using). Serve immediately.