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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

It’s definitively fall here. The leaves are orange and falling. Danny has a fire going every night in the woodstove. And there are sweet potatoes in our home again.

When the season changes, we grow genuinely geeky excited about all the new vegetables on the market. When it’s May or June, I don’t want to look at a sweet potato. By November, I’m eating them nearly every day.

Here’s a time-saving technique we have learned in our house.

I roast sweet potatoes in their skin, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, in a 400° oven. When the skins are wrinkly and puckered away from the tender flesh, take the sweet potatoes out of the oven. Let the flesh be soft but not mushy. It should still have a bit of resistance against a knife inserted, but just a bit. When they are cooled, remove the skins. (They should come off in your fingers, like paper gone pulpy in water.) I like to chop them up and keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

If you roast 4 or 6 at a time, you should have plenty of sweet potatoes ready to make dinner quickly, for not much money.

Quick sweet potato soup: Cook up onions and garlic, then add a fresh herb like tarragon or basil. Pour in some red lentils and chicken stock. (You can use vegetable stock or water, if you wish.) Cook, stirring. When the lentils are soft, add the roasted sweet potato. Cook until everything is hot, add salt, and puree. Soup.

Sweet potato pasta. A few nights ago, I cooked up some gluten-free spaghetti. While it was cooking, I sautéed up some slivered chanterelles (any mushroom would be fine) and ribbons of kale. When they were both soft, I add cubes of roasted sweet potato and some fresh mozzarella. That was a delicious dinner, one our daughter adored.

Sweet potato puree. With soft roasted sweet potato cubes, you can have a sweet potato puree in a few moments. For a savory puree, throw the cubes of sweet potato in a food processor. Add any herbs or spices you might like. Thin it out with hot chicken stock until the puree is the consistency you want.

And for a foolproof sweet potato puree, gluten-free and dairy-free, for your Thanksgiving table, come back here tomorrow!

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