Oil-free spiced and roasted sweet potatoes are delicious; roasting caramelizes the sugars and intensifies the flavors of the sweet potatoes and without the added fat that oil brings. The oil-free technique described below also works well with all types of potatoes, root vegetables and non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower; the time varies but the basic method remains the same. Be sure to let sit for at least 10 minutes after spicing (step#10 below). For potatoes and sweet potatoes, the total roasting time is about 45 minutes. A typical bake sheet will hold up to 2 pounds of potatoes in a single layer.
Oil-free Spiced and Roasted Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
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2 lbs sweet potatoes or potatoes.
1–2 Tbls ground spices (see step 8 below for suggestions)
Tools: wash bowl like a salad spinner; vegetable scrub glove or brush; large knife like an 8in or 10in chef knife; large prep bowl; bake sheet; parchment paper
Preheat the oven to 400° and gather one kind or mixed potatoes.
Place the potatoes in the wash bowl or salad spinner.
Scrub the potatoes reallywell with a scrub glove or vegetable brush.
They brighten up after the scrub (so pretty).
Cut the potatoes to size. 1 1/2 to 2 in or larger. If they are too small they get overdone on the inside before the have picked up color on the outside.
Rinse in clean water in the bowl and drain. They don’t need to be totally dry. A little water helps in the spicing step next.
Place in a large prep bowl.
Sprinkle with spices of your choice. In this one I used cumin, coriander, aleppo (sweet/hot red pepper flakes), and black pepper.
Tossing the potatoes in the bowl gives the best distribution of spices (and kinda fun), but stirring with a wooden spoon or flat spatula will work well too.
Let the potatoes sit with the spices for 10 minutes or longer. This time allows the spice to absorb moisture and not burn during the roasting. It also flavors the potatoes nicely.
On a parchment paper lined bake sheet, place the spiced potatoes on a single layer and put in the oven for 20–30 minutes (check at 20 minutes as ovens vary). The potato side on the paper should be brown in spots. When the undersides are browned in spots, turn them over and roast for another 10–15 minutes.
Take them out and you can toss them in a dressing if you like or serve them as is.