Maple Sweet Potatoes With Spicy Pecan Praline

5.0
(1)

This elegant dish is a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving sideboard, or as a side for a dinner party.

Maple Sweet Potatoes With Spicy Pecan Praline Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
Servings:
6

There are two kinds of people: those who want their sweet potatoes, well, sweet, and those who want them savory.

Miraculously, this recipe manages to satisfy both camps. A pepper-infused, buttery maple glaze coats fat wedges of sweet potato and petals of caramelized shallot. These are then showered with cayenne- and lime-flecked candied pecans, which could also live happily on a cheese or grazing board.

This dish is all but guaranteed to get at least one person to ask for the recipe. It's also easy to replicate for a weeknight dinner.

Shopping tip: Look for long, skinny sweet potatoes so the wedges aren't too thick.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup pure maple syrup, divided

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 teaspoons lime zest (from 2 limes), divided

  • 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (8 to 10 small potatoes), scrubbed and quartered lengthwise

  • 5 large shallots, quartered

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together pecans, cayenne, several grinds of pepper, ¼ cup syrup, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until bubbling and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon lime zest and stir, spreading mixture into an even layer. Let cool for about 15 minutes (pecans will be sticky). Wipe saucepan clean; set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss sweet potatoes, shallots, oil, several grinds of pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Turn potatoes so 1 cut side faces down. Bake until almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, make glaze: Cook butter, several grinds of pepper, and remaining ¼ cup syrup and ½ teaspoon salt in cleaned saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until mixture is foaming and butter melts, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Drizzle glaze over potato-shallot mixture and gently stir to coat. Return to oven and bake until potatoes are glazed and tender when pierced with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with pecans and remaining 1 teaspoon lime zest before serving.

Prepare pecans up to 1 day in advance and store at room temperature, loosely wrapped in parchment paper.

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