Coal-Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Salted Saffron-Honey Butter

Coal-roasted sweet potatoes with salted saffron-honey butter.

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.

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Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia, Missouri, and authors the website rusticsupper.com, where she shares recipes centered on the idea of the communal table and embracing the heritage of food through travel.

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