This is particularly delicious with fish, seafood or pork. The thing I like about this, is that even though it’s nice Thanksgiving side dish, it’s wonderful when fresh apricots are in season. It’s quick, easy and totally delicious. The nice thing about this dish, is that is transcends seasons. Use fresh apricots in the summer and canned whenever they aren’t in season. I used canned, as I’m clearing out my cupboard and it worked extremely well and tasted great. I use the larger amount of lemon juice with canned apricots, as they are usually sweeter than fresh. At Thanksgiving, you can toss dried cranberries under the apricots, which just makes it more holiday-like.
I served alongside Thai-Flavored Turbot with Charred Onions. Sweet potatoes are wonderful with fish and we should eat them more frequently, than at the holiday season. They are a good source of potassium and vitamins A, C and several of the B vitamins, as well as providing a good source of fiber. Sweet potatoes aren’t just another pretty vegetable.
This is quick enough to put together to have during the week. Pour the nectar and orange juice into a skillet (cast iron works great). Place over moderately high heat; boil until reduce by about half. Remove from the heat. While the liquid is reducing, peel the sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. When the liquid is reduced, lay the sweet potato slices in concentric circles, to cover the bottom of the skillet completely. Sprinkle with salt. Lay the apricot halves, cut side down, evenly over the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with the ground mulling spice and the pecan pieces. Place in the oven and roast until the potatoes about 3/4 done…maybe 12-15 minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven, sprinkle with the cheese and return to the oven. Continue to roast until the sweet potatoes are just tender and the cheese melts. Most of the liquid will have evaporated at the point. Remove the pan from the oven, let stand for about 5 minutes, then serve. That’s it…simple, huh?
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, Apricots and Parmesan
You can dot with butter before roasting, for a slightly richer dish. There is a lot of flavor in the this dish, so it isn’t necessary.
- 1/2 cup apricot nectar (see NOTE)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 5-6 fresh apricots, cut in half and pit removed (see NOTE)
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mulling spice (optional)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup coarsely shredded parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Place the apricot nectar and orange juice in a skillet or other oven-proof pan; I use a cast iron skillet. Bring the juices to the boil; reduce by about half. Pull the pan from the heat, place the sweet potato slices in concentric circles to cover the bottom of the skillet completely Try to keep them in one layer; sprinkle with salt. Lay the apricot halves, cut side down, evenly over the sweet potato slices. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the apricots. Grind the mulling spice over everything, and sprinkle with the pecans pieces. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the slices are about 3/4 done. Remove from the oven (be careful, the pan handle will be screaming hot!); sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Return the pan to the oven and continue to roast until the sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven; let stand about 5 minutes before serving. This is excellent with fish, pork or turkey.
NOTE: If you don’t have access to fresh apricots, use 1 can of apricot halves in their own juice. Drain the juice into the skillet, add the orange juice and reduce, as in the recipe. Instead of placing the fresh apricots cut side down, place the canned apricots cut side down and continue with the recipe as written. If you can find canned apricots in their own juice, they are preferred. Adjust the sweetness with the lemon juice.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, Apricots and Parmesan Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.