I love the orange on orange of this combination. Two yummy vegetables- sweet potatoes for the fries and roasted red peppers in the dip- both carotenoid-rich for your good health.
Sweet potato fries with roasted red pepper aoli may be my favorite restaurant appetizer ever, but this home version is healthier than anything you can find in a restaurant. The sweet potatoes are tossed with a little olive oil and baked, not fried. If you want to make them without any added oil at all, toss them in two beaten egg whites instead. Or keep it vegan by using olive oil. I’ve included nutritional information so you can compare the two methods. The egg white version adds a little protein and saves about 30 calories per serving.
Honestly I like the olive oil version a little better, though both are good. And if you are dipping the fries in my silken-tofu-based red pepper aoli, either version will be be fantastic.
There are a few hints to make this recipe easier. Use a sharp chef’s knife. If you are using small sweet potatoes, cut them in half and then cross-cut each half into thin fries. If you are using larger sweet potatoes, cut them in half and then cut each half into slabs thin enough for fries. I don’t stack the slabs before cross-cutting them, that makes the task too difficult for me. I just cut each slab into thin fries.
Parchment paper sprayed with cooking oil on the baking sheet makes cleanup easier. Cut the pointy ends off the sweet potatoes before you slice them, or cut the pointy ends off of individual fries. I could have done a better job of cutting the pointy ends off of these fries. I later had to cut a few burned ends off of them when they came out of the oven.
Sweet potato fries are softer than white potato fries, but if you cook them as hot as you can without burning them and give them a lot of space in a single layer on the baking sheet, they will become as crisp as possible.
- 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
- 1 Tbs. olive oil or 2 egg whites
- ¾ tsp. salt or to taste
- pepper to taste
- Peel the sweet potatoes (not strictly necessary, but I prefer it. If you are going to leave the skins on to preserve all the nutrients in the skin, use very fresh sweet potatoes, trim, scrub, and dry before cutting).
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half with a sharp chef’s knife. If they are large, cut each half lengthwise into slabs thin enough for fries. Lay halves or slabs flat and cross-cut into strips ¼” or less thick. Cut any extremely thin ends off the fries to prevent the ends from burning (alternatively, cut the pointy ends off the sweet potatoes before cutting them in half).
- Put the sweet potato fries in a large bowl.
- Add oil, salt, and pepper to the fries and toss.
- Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spray the parchment paper with olive oil from a cooking spray can.
- Arrange the fries in a single layer on the pans. Don’t crowd too many on one pan, it will make it harder for them to become crisp.
- Heat oven to 425 on convection setting, if your oven has one. If you have a conventional oven, you may want to bake at 450, but if you do, watch the fries very carefully.
- Don’t bake anything else in the oven at the same time, that will slow the fries down and make them less crisp.
- Bake, checking and stirring every 10 minutes for 20 minutes, then every five minutes.
- They should be done in 20 to 25 minutes.
Approximate nutritional information per serving, made with egg white:
Calories: 281 cals, Fat 0.5 g., Sat. Fat. 0.2 g., Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Protein 8.4 g., Sodium 743 mg., Carbohydrate 62.2 g., Fiber 9.9 g., Sugar 25.4 g., Calcium 115.3 mg.
Approximate nutritional information per serving, made with extra-virgin olive oil:
Calories: 309 cals, Fat, 5.1 g., Sat. Fat. 0.8 g., Cholesterol 0.0 mg., Protein 6.0 g., Sodium 607.8 mg., Carbohydrate 62.0 g., Fiber 9.9 g., Sugar 25.3 g., Calcium 113.8 mg.