I adore sweet potatoes. But those sweet potatoes we ate when I was a kid? (And perhaps you did too?) The canned sweet potatoes baked with brown sugar and marshmallows, an ooey-gooey mess that hardly resembled the vegetable they once were?
No thank you.
These roasted orange sweet potatoes, with smoked paprika, cumin, and orange zest, still taste like sweet potatoes. They’re soft on the fork with a bit of bite. How lovely it will be to have sweet potatoes that are not mushy on your Thanksgiving table!
Take a look.
ROASTED ORANGE SWEET POTATOES
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon canola
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 cups orange juice
1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
Preparing to bake. Heat the oven to 400°. Butter a 9×13 casserole dish. Layer the sweet potatoes like shingles, in three straight lines, in the casserole pan.
Making the glaze. Set a small pot over medium heat. Put in the butter and oil. When the butter has melted, add the smoked paprika, cumin, and maple syrup. Swirl them around until you can smell the spices. Pour in the orange juice and add the salt and pepper. Bring the liquids to a boil and let it boil for a moment or two, stirring occasionally.
Baking the sweet potatoes. Pour the glaze over the sweet potatoes evenly. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the sweet potatoes are soft to the fork but don’t fall apart, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Take the aluminum foil off the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the orange zest over the top of the sweet potatoes. Cover the pan loosely with the aluminum foil again until you are ready to serve the sweet potatoes.
We might think first of turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. (We’re going to show you how to make each of those well in the next couple of weeks.) We might think about stuffing, dinner rolls, and pie. (Sign up here for our Thanksgiving gluten-free baking iPad app! We show you how to make each of those well.) But for me, the most interesting part of Thanksgiving? The vegetables.
Think about it. The meal is the same, every year. Some people are adamant that absolutely nothing change. But the vegetables? That’s a place you can play.
One of our favorite vegetable dishes, in general and for Thanksgiving in particular, is roasted cauliflower.
Here, let us show you.
See how easy it is?
Feel like making cauliflower for Thanksgiving? Here are the recipes.
Master Recipe: How To Roast Cauliflower
2 large heads of cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil (the fruitier the better)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
Preparing to cook. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepping the cauliflower. Break the cauliflower into large florets. (The smaller they are, the faster they are going to cook.) Put the cauliflower florets into a large bowl. Drizzle the oil over the cauliflower, then toss with salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower to toss.
Roasting the cauliflower. Spread the cauliflower out on the baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower until they are starting to brown and even start to caramelize a bit, about 30 minutes. (You want the cauliflower to still have a bit of a bite. No one wants mushy cauliflower.)
Once the cauliflower is done, bowl them up and serve. You can cover with foil and keep in a warm place until dinner.
Mix your dry ingredients together. After the cauliflower is oiled up, add the dry ingredients and mix well. Roast.
Salted Yogurt and Dried Cherries, inspired by a recipe from Melissa Clark
2 cups yogurt (we like full-fat yogurt)
2 tablespoons toasted cumin seed, ground
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black Pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Place everything in a bowl, mix, TASTE, and adjust the seasoning to your fancy. (It’s best if you make the sauce ahead of time and let it sit in the refrigerator to fully develop the flavors.)
Roast the cauliflower as written above, then finish the dish with yogurt sauce, cherries, and mint.
Dates, Apples, and Olives, inspired by a recipe from Running With Tweezers
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 1/2 cups green olives, pitted and chopped (Picholine or Castelvetrano are best here)
1 cup dates, pitted and sliced
Roast the cauliflower.
As the cauliflower is roasting, set a pan over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the apples, dates and the olives. Cook until the apples are just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Don’t overcook the apples or you will have applesauce for you cauliflower. Set aside.
Toss the dates and apples with the roasted cauliflower and enjoy.