Imagine patatas bravas as the Spanish one-up to French fries. Crispy potatoes, “special sauce.” Here, that means a smoky, spicy tomato dressing with garlicky mayo. Back home, patatas bravas are a late-night go-to at tapas bars (easy to understand if you’ve ever been a little sloshed and anywhere near French fries). Because this version swaps in hearty, squashy sweet potatoes, it's equally lovely as a side and an entree. —Emma Laperruque
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into large (roughly 1 1/2-inch) chunks. Add to a naked, rimmed sheet tray, then toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the salt. Roast—stirring the potatoes halfway through—until they're just tender and beginning to brown, about 24 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the tomato paste, sherry vinegar, hot sauce, and smoked paprika in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, garlic, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. (Both sauces can be prepared days in advance, then refrigerated!)
When the potatoes are done, let them hang out for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with the tomato dressing and gently toss. Transfer to a platter and zigzag with the garlicky mayo. Serve warm.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.