Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1â„4-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
pinch of cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 375° F. Oil a shallow 2 ½- to 3-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper; transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the pecans, sugar, thyme, cayenne, the remaining tablespoon of oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and â…› teaspoon black pepper.
Remove the foil from the baking dish, sprinkle the pecan mixture over the potatoes, and continue to bake, uncovered, until the pecans are toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.