Sweet potatoes are healthy carbs, and I like to make them for dinner with chicken or pork as a filling yet good-for-you side. I like them savory-style, though, rather than the typical cloying sweet. I created this dish for an interview I did for Bon Appetit magazine in the mid 2000s. It was inspired by an accident in the kitchen when I spilled some parmesan over some roasted sweet potatoes. I decided to see how the mash up tasted - I loved the slightly salty taste of the cheese with the roasted, natural sweetness of the potatoes. By grating the parmesan on a Micro-Plane, it lessens the amount typically used, yet you still get that cheesy, salty flavor. I bake these often for special occasions, like Easter or dinner parties with family and friends. A nice switch up that catches everyone’s eyes is using Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes from Frieda’s.
- 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, sliced ¼” thick (skin-on)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves + a few sprigs for garnish
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Pinch or two of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Micro-planed parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add the potatoes to a medium mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and cayenne. Toss to coat. Place in a large pie plate or 9”x13” baking dish.
Bake 40-50 minutes until the potatoes are tender with fork. Top with the Parmesan and bake 5-7 minutes more until melted and golden.
Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Chadwick’s Change Ups
For fun presentation, I sometimes bake this recipe in a 10” terracotta planter saucer that has been seasoned and cured in the oven. The saucer costs less than $10 at a local hardware store. Like a cast iron skillet when you first buy it, fully wash it and dry completely. Coat the inside with vegetable oil (about 3 tablespoons should work). Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Bake in an oven at 350°F for an hour. Turn the oven off and let the saucer cool completely with the oven. Wipe clean, and you are ready to cook with it.