Lemon gives this dish an unexpected freshness, like a slice of lemon in an iced tea.
Chef’s tip: Don’t be afraid of the high oven heat used in this dish—you need high temps to give the yams that glorious steaklike sear.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss the yams with the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, and a pinch each of salt and pepper until evenly coated. Spread the yams in a single layer on a half-sheet pan. Roast until lightly caramelized, about 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately squeeze the juice from the lemon all over the yams. Serve hot.
Excerpted MEALS, MUSIC, AND MUSES: Recipes From My African American Kitchen by Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers. Copyright © 2020 by Alexander Smalls. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Beatriz da Costa.