Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, Shallots, and Maple Syrup

Baked Sweet Potatoes 1-3.jpg

These potatoes are a great alternative to marshmallow-topped yams on Thanksgiving, but that shouldn't be the only time you have them. The sweet-and-savory surprise of the topping makes the dish irresistible, and the fresh thyme flavor creates another layer of mystery and satisfaction.

Makes 4 baked potatoes

Pecans.  Position a rack in the center of the oven. Start the oven pre-heating for the potatoes (set to 425°F). As the oven is pre-heating, toast the pecans until they just start to change color and you can smell the aroma. Start checking after 5 minutes to see if they're done. Remove and cool. 

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

The potatoes.  Lay the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Once the oven is at 425°F, put the potatoes in the oven and bake until the flesh is very tender when pierced with a fork, 50-60 minutes.

  • 4 small/medium sweet potatoes of similar size, unpeeled, scrubbed and patted dry

While the potatoes are baking, finish the topping.  Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until well browned and slightly crisp, about 6 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

  • 1 Tablespoon vegan butter 
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced crosswise

Stir these together in a small bowl and let the flavors blend while the potatoes finish baking.

  • The toasted pecans
  • The browned shallots
  • 3 Tablespoon vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

To serve, make a cut along the top of each potato, push on the ends to pry it partially open, and fluff the flesh with a fork. Place a dollop of the maple-pecan-shallot topping inside each potato.

Timing: About an hour and 15 minutes, including oven preheating

Nutrition: The vegan butter and maple syrup are not whole-food ingredients, but everything else is.


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