Sweet taters

While I’ve written quite a lot about our winter squash over the past couple of years, I’ve neglected the humble, but delicious, sweet potato.  While winter squash are great, they require scooping out the goop, and you often don’t know exactly what you’re going to get until you cook it.

In comparison, sweet potatoes require less prep, and they are consistently delicious.


To give you a sense of scale, the knife in the sweet potato has a 6.5 inch blade.  This big guy weighed in at just under five pounds.  It really looked like it could have easily weighed ten pounds, but, while nice and solid, the flesh of a raw sweet potato is relatively dry.

We store them dirty (they keep better that way), so they all need a good bath and a bit of a scrub.  I soak the whole potatoes in a bowl of water to loosen the dirt, then use an old toothbrush to scrub them clean under a very small stream of running water.

Here are some smaller roots, immediately after harvest.  Matthew dug about 200 pounds of sweet potatoes from 10-12 plants last October.  These sustained shovel damage, so we used them immediately.


The dry flesh of the raw sweet potato yields a rich, creamy product when cooked.  My favorite, easy prep method these days involves roasting.

roasted sweet potatoes

Recipe by Melissa

Sweet potatoes
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to about 400°F.*  Thoroughly clean the sweet potatoes, as described above.  Cut into similar size cubes (you can go smaller or larger depending on the final use, but similar size is important for even cooking).

Place the sweet potato cubes in a large, oven-safe, covered dish (I use a large Pyrex casserole) and toss with olive oil and salt.  Put the covered dish in the oven and roast the potatoes for 40-55 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Serve as a fabulous side dish, or toss into one-dish meals, soups, or wraps.  I often use sweet potatoes in place of carrots in this soup, and they substitute well in other recipes.

*Temperature is flexible +/- fifty degrees or so if you have other food that needs a specific temperature.   Roasting time may increase or decrease accordingly.


  1. I like to cut them in slices and roast them in a single layer so they are like oven chips. This sounds really good too!

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