Sweet, licorice-y star anise doesn't usually appear in everyday cooking, so it lends a distinctive and unexpected note to roasted sweet potatoes. The star casing actually contains more flavor than the seeds, so use the whole pod, crushing it finely with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Along with ginger and lime, it turns simple roasted potatoes into something sweet, aromatic, and pleasantly piquant.
Sweet Potatoes with Star Anise, Ginger, and Lime
1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 star anise, finely crushed
1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast for 10 minutes, then shake or flip the potatoes over. Continue roasting for 10 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Variation: There's a nice depth of flavor that comes from roasting all of the ingredients together, but those who really love ginger and lime might enjoy this variation. Instead of adding the ginger, lime zest and juice to the olive oil mixture, toss them with the potatoes after roasting for a hotter and zestier flavor.
Related: Chili-Spiked Sweet Potato Fries
(Image: Emily Ho)