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Spicy Roast Sweet Potatoes with Lavender Honey

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Oven-roasted, sliced sweet potatoes are a less sweet, more savory version, even if you are including a little lavender honey.

The title of this dish says it all — sliced sweet potatoes that are only a little sweeter from the honey, a little spicy and good with any roast meat, such as a marinated pork loin, rib roast, roast chicken or turkey. The red pepper can be eliminated, but it is such a small amount that it provides warmth rather than burn. If you can’t find lavender honey (we got a small jar from Becker Vineyards’ gift shop) you can either put a pinch or two of fresh culinary lavender into the mix or substitute another fragrant herb, such as sage.

Spicy Roast Sweet Potatoes with Lavender Honey

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 generous tablespoons lavender (or plain) honey, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the peeled sweet potatoes lengthwise, then slice crosswise, as you would for scalloped potatoes, making slices about 1/4-inch thick. Put them in a bowl. Melt butter on the stove along with the honey, sherry, chile flakes, white pepper and salt. When you have a warmed syrup, pour it over the sweet potatoes. Toss lightly with hands to combine.

To bake, you can line the sweet potato slices up in rows next to a roast and let them bake and brown with the meat juices, basting them once or twice.  Or, you can put them in a buttered baking dish, cover with foil and bake until they are close to being tender, then take the foil off for the last 10-15 minutes so they can brown. If they seem dry, use some of the melted butter mixture in the pan, or from a roast, to spoon over the top.

Makes 4-5 servings.

From Bonnie Walker

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