OPINION | FRONT BURNER: An updated twist — Citrus-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Citrus-Glazed Sweet Potatoes (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

I've been finding lots of cooking inspiration in The New York Times lately. There was the Ricotta Polpette a few weeks ago and two recipes today — the Brown Butter Orzo and Butternut Squash recipe in my butternut squash story and this take on candied sweet potatoes by Yewande Komolafe.

I'm the sole sweet potato eater at my house so I cut the recipe in half (double the amounts listed below if you want to make the full recipe, say for Thanksgiving) and had plenty of leftovers. And speaking of leftovers, this dish is great served cold and makes a great addition to a salad or grain bowl.

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Citrus-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 ½ medium oranges (I used 3 clementines)
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt (I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt; use the lesser amount if using fine salt, Morton kosher salt or salted butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ¾ pounds sweet potatoes (I used 2 medium and 3 very small)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use a vegetable peeler to peel strips of zest off 1 orange or 2 of the clementines. Cut the strips into thin matchsticks using a sharp knife and transfer to a large bowl. Juice all the oranges, the lemon and lime into the bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper until the sugar dissolves.

Generously peel the sweet potatoes, removing the skin and the tougher layer of flesh just beneath. If your sweet potatoes are larger than 2 inches in diameter, halve or quarter lengthwise. Cut into 1-inch-thick (mine were closer to ½ to ¾ inch thick) rounds or pieces, add to the citrus mixture and toss to coat.

Transfer the sweet potatoes and juice mixture to a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish (my dish was 8-by-10-inches). Dot the top with the butter. Bake, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes to cook and coat evenly, until the sweet potatoes are tender and glazed, 1 to 2 hours depending on thickness of slices. A paring knife should slide through the potatoes easily and the glaze should be the consistency of syrup.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. The dish can be made ahead and cooled, then wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 350-degree oven, covered with foil, or in a microwave, covered with a microwave-safe cover or plastic wrap.

Makes about 3 servings.

Recipe adapted from The New York Times.