Sunday, October 28, 2012

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Pears

Can I tell you a secret?  As a warning, you may think I'm strange after I tell you.  People usually don't get it when I tell them.  What is usual is that I get weird stares and people try to convince me otherwise.  Apparently, this secret makes me quite the strange specimen.  Ok, enough build up, let's just get it off my chest.

I'm not a fan of Halloween.

I will pause for gasping, disbelieving stares and that weird laugh that some people do when they don't understand things.  It's cool, I get it a lot.

So, now that that is over, instead of you trying to convince me that I am wrong and that I do in fact like Halloween, let me tell you why I don't.  Once the great years of getting free candy were over,  so was the magic of Halloween.  I'm not the most creative person and having to come up with a new costume ever year is much more stressful then it should be.  Because heaven forbid you repeat a costume once a year!  And then we hit college, and on top of having to think of new costumes every year, now they had to be sexy.  And not just sexy, but if you consider 92% of the female college population, they apparently had to be a little slutty too.  Because, if you couldn't be slutty on Halloween, when could you?  (Um, never?  That's an ok answer, right?)  All in all, it's just too much pressure.

So instead of wondering how low cut my nurse's outfit needs to be next Wednesday, I am taking the less popular route and treating the last week of October as it should be treated: as a preparation of all things fall. The air is crisp, apple cider is every where, squash, sweet potatoes and apples are cheap and plentiful.  This is Thanksgiving season, bread baking season, cinnamon rolls for every Sunday morning breakfast season.  And these roasted sweet potatoes and pears are a good way to start the preparation.  There are only 25 days until the greatest holiday ever...

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Pears
From Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods says this will serve 6-8.  As part of a much bigger meal, it probably would.  Ben and I took down a batch between dinner one night and the resulting leftover lunches the next day.  I served them with the spiced honey glazed chicken thighs.  A good weeknight dinner with good leftovers.

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled
1/4 c. sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
2 pears, Bosc (or d'Anjou)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut sweet potatoes into equal 1 inch sized chunks and put in large bowl.  In smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar and all spices.  Pour vinegar mixture over potatoes and toss to coat.  Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer potatoes to prepared baking sheet, reserving the remaining vinegar mixture to use with the pears.  Move baking sheet to oven and roast potatoes 30 minutes, tossing a few times.

While potatoes are roasting, core pears and cut into 1 inch chunks similar in size to the potatoes.  Toss with remaining vinegar and spice mixture.  Add to sweet potatoes and continue to roast 20-25 minutes until both are fork tender and pears have become golden.

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