I feel sorry for the sweet potato. Is there any vegetable more often defiled on the Thanksgiving table? It suffers countless humiliations, from miniature marshmallows to shredded coconut (in Paula Deen's world, both)—all before the dessert course even arrives. Don't get me wrong—I'm all for indulging one's sweet tooth—but I've never met a candied yam I truly enjoyed.
Which brings me to these roasted sweet potato rounds. Whoever devised this recipe clearly understands that a sweet potato is, by definition, sweet, and doesn't require any confectionary spin. Here they're roasted in garlic oil then tossed with fried sage leaves (which are by themselves a revelation). It's a simple, ridiculously tasty, and most of all dignified end for my tuberous friends.
Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Garlic Oil and Fried Sage
Adapted from Gourmet
3 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
24 sage leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with rack in upper third.
Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then fry sage leaves in 2 batches, stirring, until crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Reserve the oil.
Purée garlic with 1/4 cup of reserved olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth. [You can also use fresh olive oil; I was looking to infuse more sage flavor.] Toss sweet potatoes with garlic oil in a large bowl, then spread in 1 layer in a 15-by 10-inch shallow baking pan. Bake until golden in patches and cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve sweet potatoes with sage leaves scattered on top.