Charbroiled Sweet Potatoes
By Grant Van Gameren
Chef/co-owner, Bar Raval,Bar Isabel, Quetzal, Etc. Toronto
ONE DAY AT CRESSY HOUSE—my place in Prince Edward County—I was playing around with cooking vegetables directly on charcoal. I threw on a sweet potato, and an hour later, voilà! It’s so easy but it’s one of the most unique eating experiences I’ve ever had. The outside chars into a black crust. Cut it in half and the insides are smoky and molten and the shell acts like a bowl. If you want to impress your friends at your next barbecue, this is it. — G.V.G.
- 4 sweet potatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish Arbequina)
- Sea salt (preferably Maldon)
- Fresh herbs (chives, parsley, thyme, oregano, or any combination thereof), chopped
Start a wood fire in your fire pit or get the charcoal going in your barbecue.* When the coals are burning well, place the sweet po- tatoes directly on top of them. Rotate them every 10-15 minutes, until the entire exterior is charred black—about 1 hour. Use a skewer to test for doneness (it should easily pene- trate the core). Remove potatoes to a serving board and let cool slightly. Cut in half length- wise with a sharp knife, doing your best not to break up the outside crust. Present cut side up, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh herbs.
*You can also cook these on a gas grill on its highest setting.
C H E F ’ S T I P
“ In late summer I serve it with sweet corn, and in fall with a bowl of hearty soup. It pairs best with a glass of milk! ”