Slow-roasting sweet potatoes brings out their natural sweetness and delicate soft texture—so why not serve them for dessert? A post-roast broiling adds a slight charred smokiness that pairs beautifully with rich maple syrup. Coconut-flavored yogurt and the addition of orange zest and freshly ground black pepper make the entire dish feel surprisingly light. —Josh Cohen
sweet potatoes (long, skinny sweet potatoes are best)
Preheat the oven to 300° F. Rinse the sweet potatoes, pat them dry, and place them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silpat (or parchment paper). Rub the outside of each sweet potato with just enough olive oil to coat. Roast the sweet potatoes for approximately two and a half hours. Pierce them with a fork to test for doneness; the flesh should be very soft, the potatoes cooked all the way through. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven.
Set the oven to broil. Use a sharp knife to slice a slit across the top of each sweet potato long-ways. Drizzle maple syrup over each sweet potato (about 2 teaspoons per sweet potato). Place the sweet potatoes under the broiler and cook them until the edges of the potato skin begin to char and crisp (approximately five minutes, and no longer than 10 minutes). Keep a close eye on the sweet potatoes while they are broiling to make sure they don't burn. When the sweet potatoes look slightly charred around the edges, remove them from the oven.
Wait until the sweet potatoes are warm or room temperature before serving. To serve an individual portion, place two large spoonfuls of coconut-flavored yogurt at the bottom of a plate or shallow bowl. Place half of one sweet potato on top of the yogurt. Using a fine microplane, garnish the sweet potato with orange zest (one orange should provide enough zest for all of the sweet potatoes). Add a crack or two of freshly ground black pepper over the top of your sweet potato. If you have a sweet tooth, add an extra drizzle of maple syrup.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.