Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and don't lack for flavor either. With a bit of attention to cutting them evenly, they bake up in the oven with a crispy brown exterior, fluffy sweet interior, and enough flavor to dress up the simplest of weeknight suppers.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 large sweet potato (often sold as "yams" at grocery stores), as uniformly shaped as you can find
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or grapeseed oil
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel the sweet potato and cut off the tapered ends (you can reserve this part for another use if you like) so the entire vegetable is about the same width around.
- Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slabs. Stack each half of the slabs and cut them lengthwise into 1/8- to 1/4-inch strips. Cut these "fries" as evenly as possible and cut off any noticeably tapered ends since skinny bits will burn quite easily in the oven.
- Put the "fries" in a large bowl. Toss thoroughly with the oil. Sprinkle with cayenne, if you like, and salt. Toss to coat the "fries" as evenly as possible.
- Lay the "fries" on a large baking sheet. They can be quite close together, because they will shrink as they cook, but they should be in a single layer, if at all possible.
- Bake until the "fries" are tender and starting to brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Use a spatula to turn and rotate the "fries." Return them to the oven, increase the temperature to 450°F and continue to bake, turning the "fries" every few minutes to help them cook and brown evenly, until they are well browned, about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with more salt, if you like.
Makes 2 to 4 servings Baked Sweet Potato Fries.