Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters

October 29, 2014
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

One of my greatest idols is Ruth Reichl, a clever writer who delightfully manages to approach food with just the right balance of weightiness and sense of humor, the latter often a rare commodity among “serious” authors. I love Reichl’s recipes, I love her storytelling, and I always benefit from her vast knowledge. This recipe—a rhapsody for sweet, bitter, and salty—is based on one of hers, published in Gourmet Today, a selection from the sadly defunct Gourmet magazine, which Reichl edited for many years. Recipe from Plenty More (Ten Speed Press, 2014). —Yotam Ottolenghi

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (the juice of 4 to 5 oranges)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Angostura bitters
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 5 sweet potatoes, unpeeled, halved crosswise, each half cut into 1-inch-wide wedges
  • 2 red chiles, split open along the center
  • 3 sage sprigs
  • 10 thyme sprigs
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled and halved horizontally
  • 3 ounces goat cheese log, broken into pieces
  • Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F.
  2. Place the orange juice in a saucepan with the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down the heat to medium-high and simmer fairly rapidly for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has thickened and reduced to scant 1 cup (about the amount in a large glass of wine). Add the bitters, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the chiles, sage, thyme, and garlic, and then pour in the reduced sauce. Toss well so that everything is coated and then spread the mixture out in a single layer on a baking sheet on which it fits snugly, about 12 by 16 inches.
  4. Place in the oven and roast for 50 to 60 minutes, turning and basting the potatoes every 15 minutes or so. They need to remain coated in the liquid in order to caramelize, so add more orange juice if the pan is drying out.
  5. At the end, the potatoes should be dark and sticky. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before arranging on a platter and dotting with the goat cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Katie Hornstein
    Katie Hornstein
  • Scribbles
  • RSFCook
  • Liane
Yotam  Ottolenghi

Recipe by: Yotam Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi owns an eponymous group of four restaurants, plus the high-end restaurant, Nopi, in London. He writes for The Guardian, and appears on BBC. Sami Tamimi is a partner and head chef at Ottolenghi. Authors of the New York Times bestseller Jerusalem and the runaway hit Plenty, they have been featured in the New York Times, Saveur and the Los Angeles Times. They Live in London.

7 Reviews

Katie H. November 30, 2021
I love this recipe so much. I usually serve it at Thanksgiving. I've made it with Angostura and other kinds of amaro. I don't think it matters which bitter you use, though you might want to adjust the sugar amount (use less) if you use anything other than Angostura. The most important part of this recipe is making sure that everyone is glazed up AND roasting until you get that caramel char. It's worth going all the way. I sometimes add extra garlic heads as well.
RSFCook April 19, 2021
I'm usually a big fan of Ottolenghi's recipes but this one was a dud in our house. Angostura bitters taste was overpowering. I won't make this one again.
Liane November 11, 2018
I made this with a little change. Instead of roasting with all the aromatics and needing to pick them out of the finished sweet potatoes, I added them to the reduced syrup with a little extra o.j. and simmered for another ten minutes. Then I strained the syrup before roasting the potatoes. I would definitely do it this way again. Delish!
Scritch February 12, 2018
I made this over the weekend and it was so delicious! Will definitely make again. I did buy and squeeze my own oranges, but after all the reduction and caramelization I wonder if it would have tasted any differently if I had just used store-bought orange juice.
Scribbles January 19, 2015
lois, I thought the same thing, however after reading the recipe several times I believe those are the garlic halves instead of oranges
lois January 18, 2015
Just curious: the photo has sliced oranges in it, but no goat cheese. Did you intend to leave the oranges out of the recipe?
a_n_m February 13, 2016
I think those are the two heads of garlic, cut through horizontally.