Brown butter pecan sweet potatoes

By Mary Berg
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  • 4 small (or 2 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8–12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the cubed sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Season well with kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil to potatoes uncovered until they are fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes, transfer them back into the pot, and cover with a lid to keep warm.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat stirring frequently. Cook the butter until small brown flecks begin to appear and the butter smells nutty. This should take about five minutes – don’t walk away while you’re waiting or else your butter will go from brown to burnt. Add the sage leaves into the butter to fry for about five seconds then remove them to a piece of paper towel and season with kosher salt. Add the pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the brown butter, give it a stir, and remove it from the heat.
  3. Spoon a few tablespoons of the pecans and butter out of the pan to reserve for serving and pour the remaining brown butter mixture into the sweet potatoes along with the sour cream and maple syrup. Mash the sweet potato mixture using a hand masher or electric mixer until smooth then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer the sweet potatoes into a serving dish and top with the reserved pecans and brown butter as well as the crispy sage leaves.

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