Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes with Calabrian Chili Olive Oil

From Christian Reynoso

Formerly with Zuni Café, San Francisco, CA

sweet potatoes with oil pouring on them


Serves 4

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 4-6 potatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp Corto® La Padella® Saute Oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup raw nuts such as cashews, walnuts or pecans
  • flake salt (such as Maldon)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2-3 Tbsp Corto® Agrumato-Method Calabrian Chili Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp chives, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


In this recipe, the sweet potatoes get an updated baked potato treatment with toppings like honey, Corto® Agrumato-Method Calabrian Chili Olive Oil, and candied cashews. Try serving them with sliced ham, pan-roasted pork chops, or as a vegetarian entree. One thing to note: when you’re searing the cut sweet potatoes in the pan, they will caramelize, and even have charred edges; this adds flavor, but feel free to turn them over and check along the way so they don't get too dark.


Preheat oven to 425° F.

Poke the sweet potatoes about ½ to 1-inch deep with a sharp steak knife or fork several times. (This helps the potatoes cook quicker and avoid any bursting). Place the potatoes in a skillet large enough so they aren’t touching. Drizzle the Corto® La Padella® Saute Oil over the potatoes and transfer to oven. Bake until they are very tender and have an obvious give when pushed in with a spoon, about 60-75 minutes. Take them out of the oven and set aside to cool.

While roasting the potatoes, candy the nuts.

Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and heat over medium, stirring to melt the sugar. Add the cashews (or other nuts) and simmer for 15 minutes. Then, use a slotted spoon to drain the cashews and lay them on a parchment-lined sheet-pan. If you have space in the oven to bake with the sweet potatoes (otherwise just wait until the potatoes are done), place the sheet-pan in the oven and toast the cashews until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Take them out, season lightly with salt, and let cool completely.

When the potatoes are out of the oven, carefully (the pan and potatoes are probably still hot!) make 2-4 deep slices into the tops of the potatoes using kitchen shears or a knife. Rotate so the cut sides are facing down. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Cook until the bottom cut sides of the potatoes start to caramelize and brown, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, or individual plates.

To serve, open the cut potatoes and fan them out. Add dollops of sour cream to the plate, drizzle the potatoes with honey and Corto® Agrumato-Method Calabrian Chili Olive Oil, and sprinkle with chives, flake salt and candied cashews. Serve with lemon wedges for juicing over top.