The day before Thanksgiving found me debating the merits of sweet potatoes with the lovely young woman who manages Race’s Farm stand. She prefers the sweet reds and I was going on about the Japanese white sweet potato, especially when roasted as oven fries. Arriving home I decided to put the two to the test. The result was not your usual sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving; I even threw in a parsnip to make things more interesting. Hey, I figured, why not take a walk on the wild side and toss the lot with a toasted walnut oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees. Once they emerged I could see they were just begging for some grated Peocorino Romano and that’s just what they needed to tie the sweet with the savory.
As for which one tasted better, that is up to how you like your tators done. The reds are more tender and a bit more sweet than the Japanese, which is slightly more dry with just the right amount of sweetness. Together it was the perfect marriage and then that rogue parsnip shows up to distract your taste buds. With the leftovers I added a serving to a bowl of homemade Turkey Brown Rice soup and with a green leafy salad sighs of contentment rang through the house.
Sweet and Savory Sweet Potatoes
1 large Japanese white sweet potato
1 large sweet red potato
1 medium to large parsnip
1/4 cup toasted walnut oil
Sea salt to taste
Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. With a mandolin or by hand cut the sweet potatoes and parsnip into french fry shapes. Spread onto a baking sheet.
3. Pour the oil over the potatoes and toss with your hands or spatula to coat. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven.
4. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring the potatoes at least once during the cooking time.
5. Remove from oven when done and place in a large bowl. Add the grated Romano and toss well to combine. Adjust salt if needed and serve warm.