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Maple-Spiced Sweet Potato

Serves 4-8


    We grow many things well on our farm, but sweet potatoes are not one of them—our growing season is too short. So instead, we rely on farmers in much warmer climates to do it for us. Nonetheless they are a nutritional powerhouse, and one of my favorite vegetables. Baking is my preferred way to cook them. We do grow lots of fragrant cilantro, and through life-cycle harvesting we enjoy its aromatic leaves, green coriander seeds, and lacy white flowers. The pesto brings together lots of citrusy cilantro leaves and bright balancing flavors in a tasty condiment ready to complete a deliciously baked sweet potato.



    Maple-Spiced Sweet Potato


      Cilantro Cashew Pesto
      • 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, any flowers and a few tender stems reserved for garnish
      • 1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
      • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
      • 1/2 cup extra-virgin canola or olive oil
      • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
      • 4 oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
      • 1/2 tsp sea salt
      Maple-Spiced Sweet Potato
      • 2 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced in half lengthwise (cut each potato into 4 wedges for smaller side portions)
      • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, olive oil, or reserved animal fat
      • Sea salt
      • Freshly ground pepper
      • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
      • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
      • 1 Tbsp green coriander seeds


      Per serving:

      • calories262
      • protein6 g
      • fat20 g
      • carbs19 g
        • sugar7 g
        • fiber3 g
      • sodium200 mg



      Make the Cilantro Cashew Pesto.

      Measure cilantro, cashews, garlic, canola oil, lemon zest and juice, cheese, and salt into a food processor. Purée until  smooth, bright paste emerges, scraping down sides a few times along the way. Reserve or transfer to resealable container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


      Make the Maple-Spiced Sweet Potato.

      Preheat oven to 350 F. Turn on convection fan if you have one. Line baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.


      Use the point of a small sharp knife to lightly score surface of sweet potatoes in a diamond pattern, making cuts 1/2 in deep at ½ in intervals. (For smaller side portions, no need to score wedges.) Arrange sweet potatoes cut side up on prepared baking sheet and lightly oil the tops. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes. Carefully brush potatoes with maple syrup and evenly sprinkle with fennel seeds and coriander seeds. Continue baking until glazed and tender, 15 minutes or so more. Serve with generous dollop of cilantro cashew pesto on top. Garnish with cilantro flowers, if any, and a few tender stems.



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