By Chef Linda
Sweet potatoes and Thanksgiving, a match made in heaven. The holiday table wouldn't be complete without them, and with so many ways to serve them up, it's practically criminal to leave them off the menu. Topped with marshmallows or baked with lots of brown sugar and butter, this wonderful vegetable loses points in the health department in those recipes. In this version, roasting the sweet potatoes with a bit of maple syrup and using vegan butter, means we can dig in without having to loosen our belt buckles. We hit the requisite sweet notes thanks to real maple syrup, but with a bit of restraint. Pecans add a tender crunch, and orange and lemon juices sprinkled on at the end add brightness and clarity to this dish. Look for a variety of sweet potatoes and yams which come in different colors, like Hannah, Jewell, and Garnet for visual appeal.
Maple Roasted Pecan Sweet Potatoes
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into half moons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Toss sweet potatoes and oil in large bowl. Divide sweet potatoes between baking sheets, spreading evenly in one layer. Sprinkle with salt. Roast until almost tender, about 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, remove tray from oven. Drizzle maple syrup over sweet potatoes and distribute pecans evenly over the top. Return tray to oven.
Roast until sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Remove from oven; scatter cubed vegan butter over sweet potatoes and let stand until melted. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with lemon and orange juices, then serve.