Ottolenghi has a beautiful Sweet Potato Gratin in his book Ottolenghi. The dish is beautiful, the sweet potato soft, so tender. The success of the dish is the arrangement of a lot of sweet potatoes, overlapping, in a baking dish. What Ottolenghi doesn’t say in the recipe is that it works for just 1 sweet potato as well. Using a small amount of sweet potato means that it is not gratineed, but it is beautiful, tender with a crispy crust.
This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.
Ready for the oven
Sweet Potato Gratinee and Creamy Baked Sweet Potato
For a single sweet potato, just adjust the ingredient amounts. In a small dish it can still be gratineed, or on its own (see pics) the result is more of the baked sweet potato style.
6 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5kg in total)
5 tbsp roughly chopped sage, plus extra to garnish
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
250ml whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Wash the sweet potatoes (do not peel them unless the peel is damaged) and cut them into slices of 5mm thick. A mandolin is best for this job but a sharp knife will do the job perfectly (it just takes a bit longer..).
In a bowl, mix together the sliced sweet potatoes, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss! Now arrange the slices of sweet potato in a deep, medium-sized ovenproof dish by taking tight packs of them and standing them up next to each other. They should fit together quite tightly so you get parallel lines of sweet potato slices (skins showing) along the length or width of the dish. Throw any remaining bits of garlic or sage from the bowl over the potatoes. Cover the dish with foil, place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil and pour the cream evenly over the potatoes. Roast, uncovered, for a further 25 minutes. The cream should thicken. Stick a sharp knife in different places in the dish to make sure the potatoes are completely soft.
Serve immediately from the dish, because it just looks so gorgeous & delicious!
One medium to large sweet potato can be cooked successfully using a similar method. Slice it a little thicker, and adjust the cooking times down just a little (say, between 35 and 40 mins for the first stage, and between 15 and 20 mins for the second stage – watch it to judge). When you pour the cream over, some will cling and some will run off, this is Ok. a beautiful result.