Shingled Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Aleppo Pepper
Sweet potato casserole is a much-loved staple of American Thanksgiving feasts. There, sweet potatoes are usually relegated to a sugary, cloying confection topped with marshmallow goo. Not here. At the Ooni HQ kitchen, we’ve reinterpreted them in this spicy-sweet side dish. Warm maple syrup and cinnamon bring sweetness and warmth, while pink peppercorns, Aleppo pepper and harissa spice powder add a fruity pepperiness and earthy, slow-building heat.
For all that flavour, this is an easy Fall side dish. Baked sweet potatoes get cut into ¼-inch slices and layered in a baking dish, then glazed with spice-infused maple syrup that’s been briefly heated on the stovetop to bloom the peppercorns, cinnamon stick and pepper powders. Later, a refire using the Ooni ovens’ powerful direct flames ensures every bite serves up a mix of crispy, caramelised morsels and tender, soft bits. In a nod to the original casserole (but without additional sweetness), a sprinkling of toasted pecans and sea salt get added post-bake.
Leftovers, should you have any, also just so happen to make for an excellent pizza topping. They’d make a particularly easy topping swap for our Harissa-Spiced Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Pizza.
This recipe appears in Taking Thanksgiving Classics for a Spin. Find more Thanksgiving recipes here.
Notes: You could also make this dish start to finish in your Ooni oven by baking the sweet potatoes inside. Just wrap them in foil, place them mid-oven and turn them periodically. Conversely, they could be finished under the broiler in your home oven. Either way, this is a great make-ahead dish. You can bake and slice the sweet potatoes up to a day ahead of time, then simply layer, brush with syrup and bake shortly before you’re ready to eat.
Depending on the size of the sweet potatoes, you might need more or less salt and oil to cover and season them before baking. For reference, the three sweet potatoes we used weighed about 14 ounces (400 grams) in total.
40 minutes baking time; one hour total
serves 4 as a side
3 large sweet potatoes
40 grams grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
15 grams sea salt, plus more for seasoning
140 grams maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
15 grams pink peppercorns, whole
10 grams harissa powder
10 grams Aleppo pepper
60 grams pecans, chopped and toastedMethod
Preheat your conventional oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Thoroughly coat the sweet potatoes with oil and season with salt.
Roast potatoes in the oven until they’re easily pierced with the tines of a fork (or a cake tester), but not mushy (about 35 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool.Add maple syrup, cinnamon, peppercorns, harissa and Aleppo pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer; hold there for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Fire up your Ooni oven. Aim for 650˚F (345˚C) on the center of the stone baking board inside. (You can check the temperature inside quickly and easily using an infrared thermometer.)Slice the sweet potatoes into shingles about a quarter inch thick. Layer sweet potatoes in a baking dish, overlapping the shingles. Use a pastry brush to glaze them with maple syrup, then sprinkle with sea salt to taste.Place in your Ooni oven and cook until the sweet potatoes are caramelised on top, about 5 minutes.Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Serve and enjoy!