Roasted Okinawan Sweet Potatoes with Ginger Glaze, Ricotta and Piri Piri

Whether orange, purple or a mix of sweet potatoes, this side dish makes them memorable with a ginger glaze, spicy piri piri, and a bed of ricotta.
Photo by Alexandra Rowley / Styling by Erin Merhar

Courtesy Jacob Saben, chef de cuisine, The Publican, Chicago

Orange sweet potatoes may be a traditional holiday staple, but cooking up a purple variety shows your style and mixes up the color palate of your table. Top them with ginger glaze and spicy piri piri, and plate them over a bed of ricotta.

  • 12 medium sweet potatoes, preferably purple Okinawan or a mix
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 Fresno chilies, seeded
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 small knobs ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran or other neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Rub sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Poke potatoes with fork, place in roasting pan and cover with foil. Cook 25 minutes, until potatoes feel slightly tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool completely, then cut into ¼-inch disks and set aside.

For the piri piri, blend lime juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil until emulsified. Add chilies, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ginger and white wine vinegar. Blend until smooth. Add salt, to taste. Blend until combined.

For ginger glaze, heat honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat until frothy. Add cider vinegar, remaining ginger and chili flakes to pan. Reduce by half. Add chicken stock, and reduce again until thickened. Strain though a chinois or fine strainer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add salt and pepper to ricotta, to taste, and mix well.

In sauté pan, heat thin layer of rice bran oil or other neutral oil. Place potatoes in pan, and gently brown on each side. Pour off excess oil from pan. Add ginger glaze and baste potatoes.

Spread ricotta in center of serving platter. Arrange potatoes on top.

Reduce leftover ginger glaze in pan and add butter. Pour over potatoes and drizzle piri piri over. Serves 8.

Published on December 12, 2016
About the Author
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen
Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen are Wine Enthusiast's Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors. DeSimone tastes wine from Israel and the Mediterranean Basin, while Jenssen tastes wine from Eastern Europe, including the former the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Both co-authored Wines of California, Wines of the Southern Hemisphere, and The Fire Island Cookbook. Wine educators and presenters, both gentlemen serve as frequent guests on national and local television. Email:

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