Sweet potatoes are versatile and complement a variety of sweet and savory dishes from quesadillas (Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas) to desserts (Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Cranberries) and several things in between.
They can be sliced into wedges and oven-roasted as fries or incorporated into hearty chili recipes: Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili
Or a simple baked sweet potato is both delicious and incredibly easy.
For easy baked sweet potatoes, wash and dry well and pierce your sweet potato with a fork several times. If you prefer a moist potato, wrap the sweet potato completely in heavy duty foil. If you prefer a dryer, crisper skin, leave unwrapped, but make sure you have foil underneath the sweet potato. Otherwise you will have to scrub burnt sweet potato drippings off of your oven surfaces.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45-75 minutes until caramelized and sweet. The length of time needed is determined in part by the size of the sweet potato and in part by your own personal preference. The longer they bake, the more the sweet, caramel flavors will develop. You’ll know they are done when they are soft and oozing syrup. If you’ve baked your sweet potato unwrapped, you can test for doneness with a knife or fork. You shouldn’t get any resistance all the way through to the middle. If your potatoes are wrapped, try squeezing gently with an oven mitt-protected hand to check for softness.
Handle with care when removing from the oven and unwrapping the foil! If you don't wait for it to cool sufficiently, the sweet potato packet can leak molten syrup.
Once unwrapped, slice down the middle. Filling a baked sweet potato is up to your own taste and imagination.
One delicious option is to whisk together a scant teaspoon of sesame oil with a tablespoon of orange or tangerine juice and some freshly grated ginger. Mix in with the sweet potato flesh and top with thinly sliced scallions.
Pair with a green salad or sautéed greens and a lean protein and you have a complete and filling meal.