Sweet potatoes are a power-packed root vegetable. They are an ancient American staple, and, I think, one of the world’s most under-appreciated crops. They came to my attention when Runner’s World, I think, featured them in their “Top 10 Foods for Runners.” More recently, my love for them was tested when I ate sweet potato fries nearly every night for a month when I was living in New York City—but the day I got home, I made them again. They require so few ingredients, are really quick and easy to make, and are incredibly delicious! You’ll never go back to French fries. Read about other uses for sweet potatoes here.
Sarah Trautman is excited to return to Carleton College, snow or no snow, as a junior English major this winter. She is relearning everything her mother taught her about cooking. @sarah_trautman
Sweet Potato Fries
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and peel sweet potato. Cut sweet potato into fries approximately 4 inches long, 1/2 inch wide, and 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the fries onto a cookie sheet or other flat baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the fries and then mix so that the fries are lightly coated. Sprinkle desired spices on the fries and put into the hot oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, and then stir the fries, unsticking them from the bottom, turning them over, and returning them to the oven.
After another 15 minutes, check for done-ness. Cook time will vary depending on the oven, thickness of the fries, and personal preference. Fries should be tender through the center when poked with a fork, but crispy on the outside.
Let cool and enjoy!