The outdoor thermometer read 108 degrees yesterday. One hundred and eight. But despite the fact that summer is still going strong and southeast Texas is only going to get hotter (waaaah!) before it gets cooler, we’ve started seeing just the faintest hints of a distant end to summer: “Meet the teacher night” announcements on the elementary school sign. The high school football team out practicing. Pre-lit Christmas trees on display at my local nursery. Christmas trees.
Normally, I’m not above buying canned pumpkin in August, cranking down the AC, and baking pumpkin bread to fake cooler weather but the AC is as low as the budget will allow already – and that’s not cool enough for pumpkin bread. And I can’t bring myself to make a pot of chili, even for preseason football and Frito pie.
Sweet potatoes are another one of those foods that I associate with fall, probably because we only had them at Thanksgiving and Christmas growing up. Covered in a crusty dome of melted marshmallow. You know the kind. But this summer, we’ve eaten our share of sweet potatoes. And probably your share, too. Minus the marshmallow
Our favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is to grill them, the smokey rounds benefiting from a drizzle of a tangy vinaigrette slightly sweetened with maple syrup and a hint of cinnamon. It’s the fresh, smokey flavors of summer with just the faintest hint of fall. A very, very welcome hint.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Maple Vinaigrette
Smokey sweet potato rounds topped with a tangy maple vinaigrette.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- For the vinaigrette
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp creole mustard (or any spicy brown mustard)
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Dash of cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat grill to medium.
- Toss potato rounds with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill 8-10 minutes on each side, until the potato is lightly grilled and fork-tender.
- Whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
- Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the sweet potato slices and top with parsley.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 25 minutes
More fun with sweet potatoes:
Sweet Potato Wedges with Bacon Vinaigrette – a holiday favorite!
Indian Spiced Baked Sweet Potato Fries (Family Fresh Cooking)
Buffalo Chicken Sweet Tater Skins (Cara’s Cravings)
Sweet Potato Crusted Fish (My Life as a Mrs.)
Peanut-Crusted Sweet Potato Fries (Branny Boils Over)