They’re coming for ya!
Yes, these Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Home Fries with Pepita Pesto are ready to march right on to your Thanksgiving table.
I don’t know about you, but I personally feel indifferent about your classic sweet potato casserole. Every year, I find myself trying to think of new ways to mix things up and create a sweet potato side dish that has a few more dimensions than just sweet, sweet and more sweet. Last year I made this, and this year I figured I’d go even less traditional and skip the casserole form altogether.
I’ve always loved the idea of incorporating more pumpkin seeds (a.k.a. pepitas) into my cooking, however after one sad attempt at roasting my own out of an actual pumpkin a couple of years ago, I have to admit I pushed the idea aside for a little bit. Until, that is, I realized that I could just grab a bag of pepitas at my local Trader Joe’s. Problem solved. My wheels immediately started turning and I knew I wanted to create a delicious pesto that was full of savory, salty, spicy flavor and smother some sweet potatoes with it.
Because basil season has sadly come to an end (although is there really an end to basil season in California? I’m trying to be sympathetic to all my non-Golden State peeps), I decided to turn to a green that we always have sitting in our crisper: ARUGULA! I don’t know about you, but arugula is definitely my salad base of choice on an everyday basis. It just has so much more flavor than your regular old greens! None of this watery, “bleh” tasting ‘ish. The other great thing about arugula is it has enough flavor and peppery bite to serve as an awesome substitute for basil in your pesto. It’s so good! Trust me here. Or just try it for yourself. You’ll see.
So, we toast some pepitas to bring out their nutty, crunchy flavor, and toss them in a food processor (or blender, your choice) with grated Parmesan, garlic, a squeeze of some lemon juice, a big handful of arugula and lots of olive oil and…voila! You have a delicious, seasonal pesto that is SO worthy of your oven roasted sweet potato wedges AND your Thanksgiving table.
Save your sweet tooth for all those pumpkin and pecan pies you’ll be having for dessert! We’re all about the balance, right? 😉 Do you have any non-traditional sides you like to incorporate into your Thanksgiving meal? I’d love to hear!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes rinsed and cut into wedges
- ½ cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil separated
- ½ cup pepitas raw pumpkin seeds, plus more for topping
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is preheating, place pepitas in a small sauté pan and toast over medium heat on the stovetop until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place sweet potato wedges in a large mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread wedges out onto a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and place in 450 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
- While sweet potatoes are roasting, make pesto. Place toasted pepitas, arugula, Parmesan, minced garlic and lemon juice in a food processor (or blender.) Once the mixture has started to come together, start drizzling in remainder of olive oil (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon.) Keep food processor (or blender) going until a smooth pesto forms.
- When sweet potatoes are done, remove from oven and place back in mixing bowl. Add pesto to bowl and toss to coat. Neatly arrange pesto-covered sweet potato wedges on a serving platter; sprinkle with more pepitas and serve!
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Since this is a side dish, you don’t necessarily need to match the wine you are serving with dinner to the dish in particular. That being said, a grassy, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and an oaked Chardonnay would both go wonderfully with this dish alone. Nevertheless, it will also stand up well to a Pinot Noir which is a classic Thanksgiving dinner pairing!
Sweet potatoes up in here!
*This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.