Brown Butter Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are so good for you and so very tasty and versatile. We eat sweet potatoes about three times a week, so I am always trying to come up with new ways to prepare them. Tonight’s dinner idea was a major hit with everybody at the table and so simple to prepare. I love savory sweet potatoes and frequently put roasted garlic in my mashed sweet potatoes and would have done that tonight if the idea of scalloping them had not risen out of my morning kona and said, “Hey! What if we made scalloped sweet potatoes?” And I said “Okay but what kind of sauce do we use?” And my Kona said “Oh Girl! You need to take your scissors out back to the herb garden and snip some sage and thyme, it’s ready.” And I said, “Whoa! A Brown Butter sauce with crispy herbs!” That coffee is truly inspirational stuff.

Start by peeling and slicing the sweet potatoes. Keep the slices on the thin side like you would if you were making regular scalloped potatoes. I started out using a mandolin but switched to a chef knife and cut my slices about a quarter inch thick each. Layer the raw slices into a shallow baking dish overlapping the slices. Garlic and sweet potatoes are very good friends, I went with more is more and used eight whole cloves sliced thin. Scatter the garlic liberally across the sliced potatoes. Separate your thyme sprigs and spread them around. I used whole sprigs, you could use just the leaves or possibly dried thyme – the fresh has a stronger flavor.

Next, make the sage infused brown butter sauce. This stuff is off the charts good. It has this wonderful nutty aroma and flavor and brings a richness to any dish you are using it on. I served my sweet potatoes with pan seared salmon and broccoli tots. We put the extra brown butter sauce in the bottom of the pan over our salmon and all of us were mopping it up with the tots.

To make brown butter sauce melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat and whisk regularly. I used a saute pan, rebel that I am. Tear fresh sage leaves into the melting butter to infuse it with flavor and crisp the tender sage leaves. Once the butter melts it will begin to bubble. Keep stirring, don’t walk away from the stove. When it starts to foam and rise, stir constantly. As the foam begins to die down the butter will become brown in color with little brown bits in the bottom and it will have a nutty aroma and flavor. Remove your pan from the heat immediately to avoid burning, burning makes it go bitter, we don’t want that! Once your sauce is ready pour it all over the raw potatoes, garlic and thyme sprigs. There will be this lovely sizzling sound just like fajitas!!

Cover your shallow baking dish and bake in a 350ºF oven for thirty minutes. I covered it to keep the sweet potatoes from drying out. At the end of the bake time, pull it out and test for tenderness but then go ahead and garnish it with a little fresh shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, as Mario Batali says it is “the King of cheeses.” Not too much, just a scattering to give the dish a little salty bite. Bake it an additional 10 minutes uncovered to melt the cheese and crisp up the top a little. You can remove the thyme sprigs if you choose to, but leave all those crispy sage leaves, they are divine.

  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 8 cloves Garlic, sliced
  • Several sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 12 or so Sage leaves
  • 1 stick Salted Butter
  • Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
  • ¼ C Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
  1. Peel sweet potatoes and slice them thin with either a knife or a mandolin.
  2. Layer the sweet potatoes into a shallow baking dish overlapping slices a bit.
  3. Spread the garlic slices over the layered potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of pink salt over all and top with thyme sprigs.
  5. Prepare the brown butter sauce:
    1. Melt the stick of butter over medium-high heat.
    2. Tear the sage leaves and toss them in the melting butter to infuse it with sage flavor and allow the sage to crisp up. Stir regularly. As the butter starts to boil it will foam up.
    3. Stir constantly until the foam begins to die down and the butter has changed to a brown color with some brown bits in the bottom.
    4. Remove from heat to avoid burning.
  6. Pour the brown butter sauce over the sweet potatoes. It will sizzle as you do this.
  7. Cover the dish and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.
  8. Uncover the dish and sprinkle a light dusting of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the potatoes and bake an additional 10 minutes until all are tender.



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