Sweet potatoes: How to choose, store and prepare

Sweet potatoes

Whether they’re the pale gold varieties or the dark orange ones that are mistakenly called yams, sweet potatoes are one of the most traditional highlights of the table at this time of year. And, despite the marked differences between the two types, they can be used almost interchangeably.

The orange ones are sweeter and moister than the golden ones, which are drier, starchier and nuttier in flavor. If you’re making a puree, for example, think about whether you want the finished texture to be dense and buttery (in which case, choose the orange sweet potatoes) or light and creamy (the golden ones).

How to choose: Fatter sweet potatoes have more meat once they’ve been peeled.

How to store: Sweet potatoes can be stored at cool room temperature.

How to prepare: A magnificent sweet potato puree is almost embarrassingly easy to prepare. Roast sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until a knife slips in easily, about 40 minutes. Let them cool slightly, then peel them (the skin will pull away with just your fingers). Cut them into sections and puree them in a food processor with minced shallots, a little orange zest and as much butter as you like.