I can honestly say that vegetables don’t come much more delicious than this. These oven-baked kumara chips are sticky, sweet, salty, crunchy and soft all that the same time, and everybody goes ga-ga over them. Kumara (a NZ variety of sweet potato which I consider a national treasure) is probably my favourite vegetable. I’ve chosen gold kumara as they’re a nice balance of sweetness and moisture. Orange kumara are the sweetest, but they don’t crisp up as well (I love them as a puree or mash), while red kumara is less sweet and has a more robust texture (red kumara works really well for this recipe, too). Lovely served as a side or just as a snack with some aioli (recipe here).
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
1kg-1.5kg golden kumara (or use red/purple kumara)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp rice bran or grape seed oil (or light olive oil)
1 ½ tbsp real maple syrup
½ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 180c fan bake.
Peel the kumara and cut into chips about 1-2cm wide. Add to a large mixing bowl with the the oils, maple syrup and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.
Tip out into a large roasting tray, including all the oil and spread out in the tray.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, turning everything over twice during cooking (use a metal turner to scrape them up as they will try and stick to the bottom). If a couple break up, don’t fret – they turn into chewy, crunchy pieces at the end.
Toss the kumara again (drizzle with a touch more oil if you think it looks a bit dry) and turn the oven up to 200c fan bake. Cook for another 10 or so minutes until everything is lovely and golden, some bits dark brown. Remove from the oven. As the chips start to cool, they get crunchier.
Serve with a meal as a side, or just a nice bowl of aioli as a snack.