Make Ahead

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Ginger & Citrus for LouLou

November 12, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 12 or more
Author Notes

My mother (her grandmotherly nickname is LouLou) started making candied sweet potatoes from Joy of Cooking thirty years ago. Everyone liked them but at some point I became in charge of the sweet potatoes, and like every recipe I meet I started to make changes to it. These are sweet but not too sweet. Now LouLou asks me to make the sweet potatoes every year. It would not be Thanksgiving in our family without these. This recipe could easily be made vegan by substituting a little oil or margarine for the butter. —Sadassa_Ulna

What You'll Need
  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes (or yams) approx. 8-10
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • grated zest from half lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • grated fresh ginger from 1"x2"x3" piece, or more!
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • salt, approx. 1/4 tsp. or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter, + more for buttering dish
  • chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half cross-wise. If you have very large yams cut them into thirds cross-wise.
  2. Add sweet potatoes to the pot. When water returns to boil lower heat to medium high and continue cooking for twenty minutes. Strain in large colander.
  3. In a large lidded jar or medium bowl mix all ingredients except the butter together.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a large baking dish. Cut sweet potato pieces in half again, this time length-wise. Place sweet potato chunks into the baking dish. Pour the ginger mixture over the chunks.
  5. Cut butter into tiny chunks and scatter on top of sweet potatoes. Cover with a loose lid or a piece of buttered foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  6. Remove lid or foil and give the chunks a little basting and turning over. Bake another 10 -15 minutes or until browned and delicious-looking. The quartered sweet potatoes will now have reduced in size and they will break apart easily to pile into nice little serving mounds. Heaven!
  7. I always make these the night before Thanksgiving; I think they taste even better reheated. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro just before serving if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • pauljoseph
  • AntoniaJames
  • Sadassa_Ulna
  • the mad gourmet
    the mad gourmet

Recipe by: Sadassa_Ulna

Growing up I was the world's pickiest eater, that is, until my children were born. Karma. Neither of my parents were much into cooking; it was the height of eating fat-free or anything with oat bran added. I taught myself some basics, mostly baking, following the guidelines of a well-worn copy of Joy of Cooking. I was a ballet dancer and a teacher suggested I lose weight. As I began reading about diet and nutrition I became interested in natural foods, which led to a job at a macrobiotic natural foods market in Center City Philadelphia; this was way before Whole Foods came to the area. I learned a lot about food in general. I ate strictly vegan for a while, although I don't now, but I still like it when a recipe can taste great without butter or bacon! In short, my approach to cooking is idiosyncratic, and I don't know very much about cooking meat or proper technique. I love to bake and I am still working on expanding my palate and my repertoire. The hardest part is getting the whole family to try new things! So aside from my food status, I am an architect who likes to garden and play music. I'm married with two kids, and I hope to get a dog someday.

11 Reviews

the M. November 12, 2011
Delicious!!! I did not boil potatoes. I cut into bite size prices, tossed w/olive oil and then poured ginger mixture over. They were so good I couldnt stop eating them when they came out of the oven. The ginger kind of crustalizes with the maple syrup and is such a nice foil to the potato. Thanks for sharing!!!
Sadassa_Ulna November 13, 2011
Thank you so much for trying them! I will try your no-boil method, and I like the idea of no butter as well, especially on Thanksgiving Day when everything is loaded with butter.
pauljoseph February 23, 2011
excellent recipe and the picture
Sadassa_Ulna February 23, 2011
Thank you pauljoseph! They are sweet, which is an American Thanksgiving tradition. Do you have access to maple syrup?
AntoniaJames November 20, 2010
If I were to make these in advance of T-Day, would you recommend that I proceed through Step 5, and then cool, cover and refrigerate until a few hours before finishing in the oven? Considering my options here . . . . ;o)
Sadassa_Ulna November 20, 2010
I was wondering the same thing myself, but I usually fully bake them (through step 6) and then hold because I am usually fighting for oven time/space the day of. One thing I am wondering, sometimes sweet potatoes develop dark/black spots (I think it has to do with where the eyes/roots were?) and I can't remember if they develop before or after boiling? One thing that is nice about essentially baking them twice is that the liquid glaze reduces a lot after the cooling/reheating. Sorry for the long-winded reply, I do think it would work (to cover and hold before baking but I can't recall if I ever did that.
AntoniaJames November 16, 2010
Love this recipe! The ginger + ground coriander + citrus + sweet potatoes sound simply heavenly. I plan to try this one, and am looking forward to it!! In fact, this looks like a great candidate for T-Day at my house. By the way, I can't see in the instructions when and how you combine the boiled, or boiled + roasted, sweet potatoes with the other ingredients. Thanks! ;o)
Sadassa_Ulna November 16, 2010
Thanks AntoniaJames, both for the compliment and for pointing out the missing link! I will clarify the recipe to address your question. Basically I boil the sweet potatoes after peeling/cutting them in half; after they've drained I cut them in half again before roasting. It's probably not necessary but I like having the [now] quartered sweet potatoes that are soft on one side and firm on the other. This way as they roast and soften there are still good chunks so it is not just mush.
AntoniaJames November 16, 2010
Thanks! I like the technique. It sounds like it's worth the effort. I typically roast my yams whole, in the skin with just the ends trimmed off so they don't burn, and to create vents. Your way, though more labor intensive, allows more control over the shape of the potato/yam pieces. I am definitely trying this. ;o)
peanutbutterjellytime November 15, 2010
These sound great!
Sadassa_Ulna November 16, 2010
Thanks pbjtime, they are so citrusy and gingery, really good with some fresh cilantro sprinkled on top. They make a nice counterpoint to savory herb stuffing and they're not too sweet.