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Sweet potato puree is better savory. Roasted garlic is the key.

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post; props by Limonata Creative for The Washington Post)

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, this sweet potato puree is it. The addition of roasted garlic makes for an unexpected and lovely flavor combination, adding savory depth to balance the sweetness of the tubers.

Start by roasting sweet potatoes and a head of garlic in a low-to-moderate oven for a couple of hours. Slow-roasting helps bring out more of the potatoes’ natural sweetness and produces a creamier texture (though you could roast them at a higher temperature if you are short on time or want them to cook while you are baking other things.) At the same time, the garlic becomes mellow and deeply savory.

Then add the flesh of the sweet potatoes and the cloves from the entire head of garlic — garlic lovers, this one’s for you — to a food processor along with butter, salt and pepper and puree until smooth. The result is a savory and sweet side dish that’s simple and full of intrigue.

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Puree With Roasted Garlic