I just figured out how to roast yams/sweet potatoes in half the usual time. The secret is so obvious I feel so silly for not having thought of it before: You cut it in half lengthwise and place it cut side down on a greased baking sheet. I usually roast my sweet potatoes/yams for about an hour at high heat, until they are mushy soft and oozing carmelized juices. When cut in half, it takes about a half hour to cook through, and the cut side are an appealing golden brown from the caramelized natural sugars.
Wanting something a little different, I served the yams with a lime ginger sauce, inspired by a miso ginger sauce in Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy. Madison’s original recipe calls for topping steamed sweet potatoes with a sauce of miso, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. I didn’t have the miso or the rice vinegar, so I used tamari and lime juice.
In another recipe, Madison suggests pairing sweet potatoes with coconut oil instead of butter. I think the roast yams would be even tastier if the cut sides of the yams were rubbed with coconut oil before roasting.
4 yams, sliced in half lengthwise
safflower oil or coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1″ piece ginger, minced
1/4 tsp. honey or agave
1 Tbl. soy sauce
juice 1 lime
1 Tbl. roasted sesame oil
2 tsp. black sesame seeds
Rub the cut sides of the yams with oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees until tender and golden brown on the cut side, about a half hour.
Make the sauce: puree the garlic, ginger soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil.
Top the roast yams, placed cut side up on a serving dish or individual plate, with the sauce. Sprinkle over the black sesame seeds.
Honey Mustard Roast Yams variation: Instead of making the ginger lime sauce, rub the cut sides of the yams (before roasting) with a combination of equal parts honey and Dijon mustard. Roast, cut side down, at 400 degrees until golden brown on the cut side, about half an hour.