This sweet potato dish strikes a perfect balance between sweet, tart, and savory. Perfect for the Autumn months as well as the holidays, this dish combines different varieties of apples for a complex side dish that will make your house smell like an aromatic dream. If you're short on time, this can be made a day ahead, drizzled with olive oil, and reheated in the oven at 425°F in 2 baking pans, until hot. Garnish with sprigs of thyme, for a festive finishing touch.
2 Golden Delicious, peeled and cut into 1-in. chunks
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1-in. chunks
1/4 cup maple syrup
Finely shredded zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs
About 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes, oil, apples, syrup, lemon zest and juice, chopped thyme, 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and pepper until coated.
Spread mixture in a single layer in 2 large, oiled, rimmed baking pans. Roast until sweet potatoes are browned and tender when pierced, 40 minutes, turning chunks every 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter, add more salt to taste, and garnish with thyme sprigs.
Make ahead: Up to 1 day; chill. Reheat, drizzled with a little olive oil, in a 425° oven in 2 baking pans, until hot, 20 minutes.
This dish was a big hit at Thanksgiving. The thyme and lemon really added some nice flavors. I probably used more thyme than this recipe called for. It maybe didn't need so much maple syrup, since a lot of it ended up just burning in the pan. It also seemed to be done cooking a bit early (after 35 min or so), I used two baking sheets with shallow edges on them, so maybe being so spread out made it cook faster. I did have to put it back in the oven for another 15-20 min after it had sat out while the turkey roasted, and it held up just fine.
I made this for a large dinner party with pork tenderloin with apple cider sauce. It was a huge hit and I have had several people ask for the recipe. I added 4 good sized onions and I sliced the apples in larger chunks than the sweet potatoes to allow for the apples cooking quicker than the potatoes. I will definitely make it again for Thanksgiving!
In trying to make a healthier Thanksgiving meal, I made this a an alternative to the traditional sweet potatoes with marshmallows. It was great but, I think it needs more apple and more thyme.
Definitely give it the room it needs on two pans or else it will end up steaming instead of roasting.
We really liked the combination of lemon, thyme and maple syrup flavors with the sweet potato. So much so that absent the apples we used the same treatment for cubed delicata squash and it was just as delicious. Although we like the combo of roasted apples with sweet potatoes (and squash too for that matter) we thought there were simply too many apples in this recipe. So while we won't make the recipe again, we'll "borrow" the flavor profile and use it on sweet potatoes and squash again.
11-1-09 -- I used a little less maple syrup. I think next time I may use more fresh thyme. Cooked up very well with an interesting appearance since apples were also used. Apples & potatoes didn't loose shape. My guests really enjoyed it, and I will use this recipe again--probably at Thanksgiving! Served with charcoal barbecued steaks.