Sweet potatoes are a very old food in Hawaii, thought to have been transported to the islands by the earliest Polynesian settlers. Okinawa sweet potatoes, so named because they're native to the Japanese island of Okinawa, turn a stunning deep purple when cooked and have a dense, starchy texture.
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1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and boil until tender when pierced, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain.
2. While potatoes are boiling, grate zest from limes and set aside; then squeeze juice from limes and set aside.
3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and slice into 1/2-in.-thick slices. Arrange on a platter, cover with foil, and put in a 200° oven to keep warm.
4. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Stir in zest and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Drizzle lime butter over potatoes and sprinkle with salt.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Okinawa sweet potatoes, also called purple sweet potatoes, are available at some Asian-food markets, farmers' markets, or online.
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