Sweet potatoes generally share the same cylindrical shape with tapered ends, but they can vary in size. The relatively smooth skin can range in color from white to golden-brown or copper-red to purple, and the dense flesh can be firm or soft, varying from white to yellow or orange, or even mauve to deep magenta-purple. In general, varieties with white flesh have a firmer and drier texture, while orange-fleshed varieties are soft and moist.
Sweet potatoes can be used in both savory and sweet applications. They are served as a cooked vegetable in whole or mashed form, and can be baked, roasted, steamed, boiled, simmered, or fried. Sweet potato can be thinly sliced and sauted for use in casseroles, ratatouille, or lasagna, cubed and simmered in soup, chili, or coconut curries, or cut into wedges and fried, served with your favorite dipping sauce. Soft and sugary orange-fleshed varieties are even used in bread and cake recipes, or as pie filling, pairing well with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, and the sweet flavors of maple syrup or brown sugar.
Sweet potatoes should not be refrigerated, but rather stored loose in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
4 sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Wash the sweet potatoes, then dry them thoroughly with a paper towel. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle the sweet potatoes with olive oil and rub the oil all over the sweet potatoes.
- Prickle the sweet potatoes in several places with a fork.
- Put the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until tender when pressed.