We’ve taken a classic fall sweet potato recipe and shaken it up a bit. Ginger and miso flavors add depth and spice to the baked dish, and even holiday traditionalists will be impressed.
Like many people, we have a Holiday cooking meal plan – I call it our WHAT WORKS list. The great thing about the WHAT WORKS list is that you don’t have to think about it too much – you’ve already got a dozen people to feed and a dining room to rearrange, and knowing ahead of time that Sunday is when you make stock, and Tuesday is when you make gravy, and this bowl will hold this much rutabaga, and the dog will need this many chew sticks to keep her occupied while you cook, is valuable currency in a stressful week. The trouble with the WHAT WORKS list is that, of course, you can get complacent. So it’s good to mix things up a little from time to time, and that’s where this sweet potato recipe comes in handy.
Our idea was to combine two seemingly unlikely bedfellows with the roasted sweet potatoes: miso and maple syrup. Miso, especially the white kind we call for here, is not only salty and savory but also lightly sweet, making it a perfect match for sweet and earthy sweet potatoes. Maple syrup, meanwhile, delivers a complex flavor that plays beautifully off those salty, earthy qualities. Don’t worry if you’re serving a traditional crowd—this combination doesn’t scream “fusion.” In fact, if you don’t tell them there’s miso in it, most probably won’t realize it (though they’ll likely want to know your secret). And, of course, it’s not just good for Thanksgiving or the holidays, it’ll still be great on the table any other time.
The recipe itself is incredibly easy. We combine butter, maple syrup, and miso in a saucepan and cook them together to form a smooth sauce. Next, we stir in some white wine vinegar and grated fresh ginger, for some sharp, tart flavors to help balance the sweetness and add brightness to contrast with those earthy flavors. We toss diced sweet potatoes with that sauce and roast them until they’re tender and browned. We like to leave the skins on, since they have good flavor and grow tender during the roasting, but feel free to peel the potatoes for a less rustic look.
One note: don’t even try this recipe with pancake syrup. Real maple syrup is the way to go here.
- 2¼ pounds (1kg) sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 7 cups; see note above)
- 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60g) white miso
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) white wine vinegar
- 1 (1-inch) knob peeled fresh ginger, grated (about 2 teaspoons)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
- In a small saucepan, combine butter, maple syrup, and miso and cook over medium heat, stirring, until butter is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in vinegar and ginger and remove from heat.
- Pour miso butter over sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Be careful with the salt, as the miso will already be salty.)
- Bake potatoes, stirring occasionally, until tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately. (To brown the potatoes more deeply, set them under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes; watch them closely to make sure they do not burn.)