Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Hazelnut Gremolata
An Italian-inspired gremolata made with toasted hazelnuts lends a bright, refreshing note to roasted sweet potatoes. There are several options for cooking the potatoes, as directed below. If you roast them on a baking sheet, be sure to line it with parchment paper, which creates a moisture-resistant nonstick surface that helps vegetables to brown evenly. It also speeds cleanup because there’s no need to scrub the pan.
For the hazelnut gremolata:
- 1/3 cup (1 3/4 oz./55 g) chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup (1 oz./30 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Extra-virgin oil as needed
- Fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil as needed
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) pieces
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the gremolata, in a food processor, combine the hazelnuts, parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Pulse until the hazelnuts are about the size of sunflower seeds, the parley leaves are minced and the mixture is just combined. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and enough olive oil to make a thick sauce. Season with salt.
The gremolata can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C).
Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the sweet potatoes. Work in batches if necessary so you don’t overcrowd the pan; otherwise, the vegetables will steam and not brown. Cook the potatoes, gently jostling—but not yet flipping—them until the bottom and edges begin to brown. Then flip and toss the potatoes until golden on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the potatoes out in a single layer in the pan, ensuring there’s enough room between them to continue browning and get nice caramelized edges, and transfer the pan to the oven. If the potatoes are overcrowded, transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer, and place in the oven. Roast the potatoes, checking for doneness every 5 minutes. They should be evenly browned in color, not blackened on the edges. Taste a potato; the texture should not be mushy. This should take about 8 minutes.
Alternatively, skip the step of cooking the potatoes on the stovetop and place them directly in the oven: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Roast the potatoes, checking occasionally for doneness after about 20 minutes. They should be evenly browned in color, not blackened on the edges. Taste a potato; the texture should not be mushy. This should take 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter, sprinkle with the gremolata and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from a recipe by Haven’s Kitchen, New York City