Fate and curiosity created this dish. One day my next-door neighbor mentioned that she had a surplus of locally grown sweet potatoes. She offered to bring them over. I accepted immediately, knowing that it would be a sweet-potato-filled week--but who in their right mind says no to a food gift? In a few minutes, she was at the door with a bloated shopping bag of sweet potatoes.
Next came curiosity piqued by Cippolini onions, those saucer-shaped Italian onions that become mild and sweet when roasted. I bought a few (mainly because they were cute) and used cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice in the dish. Toasted pecans provided blissful texture in a sweet, lemony sauce. (My son and
40-year sugar fast.) So, two recipes: the roasted sweet potatoes and onions recipe and, following, the recipe for pecan sauce.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cippolini Onions
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
9 ounces (2 medium) Cippolini Onions
1/2 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and bring potatoes to a boil on medium-high heat. When potatoes begin to boil, set your kitchen timer for 15 minutes (if you don't have a kitchen timer, turn off the heat after 15 minutes of boiling.)
- Plunge potatoes in a bowl of ice water to stop potatoes from cooking. Remove potatoes from water when they are cool enough to handle. Remove skin from the potatoes; slice each potato into one-inch pieces. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper; place the potato slices 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet and set aside. Peel onions and slice into quarters; place onions on the cookie sheet alongside the sweet potatoes.
- Pour apple cider into a small bowl and add spices. Whisk until spices are dissolved in the cider. Add olive oil and whisk again. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture.
- Brush the top sides of the vegetables with the apple cider mixture. Place vegetables in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the pan, turn each potato slice and onion wedge and brush with the remaining spiced cider and olive oil. Return the vegetables to the oven to roast for 10 an additional minutes.
- Remove roasted vegetables from oven and arrange on a serving platter. Pour warm pecan sauce over vegetables and serve.
3/4 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
2 ounces pecan pieces
- Pour cider into bowl and add cornstarch; whisk until blended and pour into pan. Add sugar and lemon. Turn stove burner on medium heat.
- Cook gently until sugar is dissolved and sauce begins to thicken.
- Add pecan pieces and stir.
- Pour over roasted sweet potatoes and onions and serve.