Y’all know I’m a big fan of Smitten Kitchen, right? Well, Deb over there is as big a fan of sweet potatoes as I am, so it just seems fated that I feature her sweet potato coins adorned with goat cheese as a prelude to Thanksgiving.
This recipe is really a sort of salad, using roasted sweet potatoes as the serving “shell”. If you don’t like sweet potatoes, you can mix the rest of the ingredients with leftover roasted turkey and still call it a salad. Although personally, I can’t understand anyone not liking sweet potatoes. They are the perfect side dish, getting you through the meal until the real star appears, aka dessert!
Serves 2 1/2
1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, scrubbed, unpeeled, in 3/4- to 1-inch coins
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup toasted and cooled pecan halves
2 tiny or 1 small shallot
2 stalks celery
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
2 ounces firm goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Lay sweet potatoes in one layer on the oiled sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.
Meanwhile, prepare your salad. Chop your pecans well, mince your shallot, chop your celery and parsley, mince cranberries if using them. Crumble your goat cheese. If you got too soft a goat cheese for mixing, set it aside and sprinkle it on top. If it’s firmer, stir it into the mixture. In a small dish, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon dijon. Pour half over salad.
When the sweet potatoes are done, set a couple coins aside just in case someone in your party isn’t into the toppings. Lay the rest on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salsa over each round. Pour remaining salad dressing over top, to taste. Eat immediately.