One of my most favorite dinners to add to my weekly menu is grilled veggie paninis. They are fast, easy, healthy, and DELICIOUS! I also love that they go so well with a variety of side dishes. This week I decided to try a new side dish with them, these sweet potato fries. I did not expect to like these myself, as I am traditionally not a fan of sweet potatoes. However, I found myself going back for more…and more of these. Ben loved them of course, since he does like sweet potatoes, and they were strangely addictive. My only issue with these is that they were a bit soft. Next time I make them I will try a little trick I learned recently – soaking the potato wedges in cold water before baking. I tried this last time I made regular oven fries and it made a huge difference in the texture. They were crispy outside, but soft inside, just as they should be. I think that will make these go from good to great!
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil greased with cooking spray.
Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears. (Soak in cold water for 20-30 minutes before continuing for crispy texture outside. Drain well and pat dry.) Place the potato spears on the sheet pan and toss with olive oil. Spread them in a single layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula or tongs. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve hot.
Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics by Ina Garten