Looking for a crowd-pleasing side to serve with dinner? Topped with a finely chopped salad of crunchy pecans and rich goat cheese, this sophisticated sweet potato side moves those sticky marshmallow concoctions to the kids' table.
"It is brighter and crunchier than most sweet potato dishes, which tend to play up the sweetness," says Deb Perelman, blogger and author of the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook ($23, amazon.com). Read on for the recipe to this yummy fall dish!
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 lb. sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, cut into ¼-inch coins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup toasted and cooled pecan halves, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp dried cranberries or cherries, minced (optional)
3 oz. firmish goat cheese, crumbled
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil (about 1 to 2 tbsp). Lay sweet potatoes in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. 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 don't, let them cook longer. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.
4. Meanwhile, prepare your salad. In a large bowl, combine pecans, shallots, celery, parsley, cranberries (if using), and goat cheese.
5. In a small dish, whisk together 4 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Pour half over the salad and toss.
6. When potatoes are done, arrange them on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of salad over each round. Drizzle remaining dressing over the top, to taste. Serve immediately.