- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 orange
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of saffron
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
New York’s a pretty colorful place. But you’d never guess by the dreary haze of grey coats and smogged skies on a regular January morning. Heads down, people pack the sidewalk in habitual motion, forward, faster, smoother. It’s 9 am, and the sun is shivering. I join in with my simple goal, to get to work.
A spark out of the smoke, a turmeric-colored gown cuts around the corner. An elderly Indian lady radiates, with her lightly upturned grin playing a small indicator of her bright presence. The intense color is unique, but it makes the entire scene more beautiful. Not only herself, but the dinge of black coats and blank faces as well.
The citrus brings the same life to the sweet potatoes. Normally the earthy, thick taste of roots wallows in your palate. There’s nothing wrong with them. But when immersed with sweet, bright juice from the orange, the entire dish feels lighter, and every aspect is intensified. The normally cloying saffron rounds out the flavor, along with a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Each spoonful felt pretty nourishing too, with Vitamin-A jam-packed in the sweet potatoes and Vitamin-C in the orange juice. Both build up your body, which I’m particularly mindful of during the wintry flu season. It’s a bright dish, and I’m excited to share.
The process for making the dish was a bunch of fun as well. Along the way home, I ducked into the first bodega/grocery store in sight for the roots. While waiting to check out, the sweetest old man proclaimed his love for sweet potatoes. I found out he works for the UN, and it’s warming to think that our ambassadors and representatives have a soft spot for fresh food.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. After thoroughly rinsing off the sweet potatoes, deeply prick several sides of each one with a fork. (Pricking dampens the likelihood of a cool science-fair explosion in your oven.) Roast them on an oven mat for 45-50 minutes, or until they sweat and are tender.
3. Pour into a large bowl, and start mashing with a fork until smooth with a few morsels (I love the taste of the skins. Their crispy texture adds a nice contrast to the creamy insides. If you’re not a great fan, gently remove the potatoes from their casing before mashing.)
4. Pour in the olive oil and combine; the hot food readily absorbs the fat. Mix in the spices, and squeeze in the orange juice to taste. Enjoy!