Whole-roasting root vegetables in the char and ash of a live fire is as enchanting – and simple – as it sounds. The exteriors of the vegetables get blackened and hit with intense smoke flavor while the insides are juicy and tender from the blanket of heat. If you have a wood-fired oven and don't want to use coals, this recipe will work just as well by placing the potatoes as close to your fire as possible.
Serves | 4 to 6 |
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 2 Tbsp hot water
- 1 stick room-temperature unsalted butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 4 small or medium sweet potatoes, cleaned and dried
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
| Preparation | Heat wood-fired oven or grill to between 750ºF and 900ºF using oven gauge or a digital laser infrared thermometer. Arrange hardwood coals in the center of grill, if using.
In a small bowl, combine saffron threads with hot water; set aside for about 10 minutes to bloom.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine butter, bloomed saffron and water, honey and salt. Whip for 5 minutes until light and fluffy; set aside.
Using barbecue tongs and wearing heat-resistant gloves or oven mitts, place sweet potatoes either directly in the coals of your grill or as close to the fire as possible in a wood-fired oven. Rotate or turn potatoes every 10 to 15 minutes until the exteriors are charred; 30 to 45 minutes total. Remove from heat. Slice into potatoes, taking care not to cut all the way through, as you would with a baked potato. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons saffron butter to each potato, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.