Culinary SOS: République shares its secret to roasted sweet potatoes

Cold crisp salad tops hot sweet potatoes.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

My husband and I went to République to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Everything was delicious from the potato and leek beignets to the apple tart with caramel sauce and comte cheese. The standout dish of the evening though was the Thao Farms yams! The combination of perfectly cooked yams with dates, mandarin, arugula, fennel and Parmesan was extraordinary. I would love it if Chef Manzke would share his creation with me.
Fingers crossed!

Carla Meyer, Cheviot Hills

République Date Butter Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Time1 hour 30 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8

We tracked down this recipe for Carla and planned to run it in March, but then the world turned upside down. Better late than never with this delicious perennial dish. Chef Walter Manzke sources his garnet yams and O’Henry sweet potatoes from Thao Family Farms, which is still selling at farmers markets, and also through produce box pickups at restaurants.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

At République, the menu listed the dish as “roasted yams,” but it’s actually made with sweet potatoes. True yams have tough, brown bark-like skin and starchy flesh similar to yucca; they’re also hard to find. Sweet potatoes, including the confusingly named Garnet yams, are readily available at markets where they’re often labeled yams.

Although Thao Family Farms’ sweet potato season is over, you can make this recipe with the ones sold in supermarkets year round. We tested this recipe with orange, purple and white sweet potatoes and they all taste great when roasted with Manzke’s date butter and topped with his bright salad. If you’re cooking for only one or two, make the full batch of sweet potatoes to enjoy all week long, tossing the cold salad fresh each time you eat it or using any leftovers to bake sweet potato bread.

Sweet Potato Bread

Time1 hour 30 minutes, largely unattended
YieldsMakes 1 9-by-5-inch loaf