My first memory of eating sweet potatoes was of my father making this dish. I could see my father was excited about these. He was talking a lot and telling us about how sweet they were. He was smiling the entire time and we were just not that interested – this was clearly before the foodie bug hit me! He prepared each sweet potato very carefully and placed them onto a baking tray, waiting for the oven to reach its temperature.
When they came out of the oven and were cool enough to handle, he picked one up and took a bite with glee! I think quite a few were eaten that way. And the few which remained were placed on a plate in the fridge, to which he would return later and sneak one at a time.
I have no idea why I was not so keen on them initially. They are like most of my favourite foods – I started out disliking everyone of them. Now I cannot get enough. I am so grateful to my parents for introducing me to all these foods, and persevering with making us eat them. I think how boring my food would be if I had just stayed with my initial dislikes.
- Sweet Potatoes (allow one per person)
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Wash the outside of the sweet potatoes and dry them with some paper towel. Cut each one in half lengthwise and score the inside of each with a criss cross, cutting into the flesh by a few milimeters. Rub the inside of the sweet potato with a little olive oil, avoiding the skin on the outside if possible. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and paprika over each one and place on a lined baking tray. (Lining the tray makes it easier to clean up afterward, as I find the sugar in sweet potatoes makes the juices burn.) Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until a knife goes in the middle easily. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Serve on their own with a leaf salad or as an accompaniment to another dish.
Leftovers can be refridgerated and kept for a couple of days, when they are best eaten cold.