We love this simple yet unusual recipe for twice-baked sweet potatoes. The majority of the ingredients are fairly traditional, but the toppings might not be something you are used to.
Nutritional yeast adds a complex flavor—almost that of parmesan rind—and it is high in B vitamins. The maple syrup is the perfect finishing touch to sweeten the deal. A final squeeze of lemon will add the right amount of acidic balance.
5 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
4 ounces fresh ricotta
2 ounces grated fresh Pecorino Romano
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
¼ cup toasted, chopped walnuts
¼ cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons dried nutritional yeast, toasted
Squeeze of lemon
Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet; fold foil around sweet potatoes to form a packet. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
When cool enough to handle, halve sweet potatoes lengthwise. Scoop out all but ¼-inch of flesh from inside skins. Arrange eight skins in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (discard remaining 2 skins). Place flesh in a food processor, along with 2 tablespoons butter, ricotta, and Pecorino; season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth, 2 minutes. Add chives and pulse to combine; spoon into skins.
In a small bowl, stir together walnuts, panko, and 2 tablespoons butter until combined; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle panko mixture over sweet potatoes. Bake until topping is golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from oven, and first drizzle with maple syrup and then sprinkle with the toasted nutritional yeast and more sliced chives to garnish. Spritz the potatoes with a final squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve immediately.
Matthew Jennings is the chef and owner of Townsman in Boston, MA.