This recipe was inspired by Jean Kwok’s novel, Searching for Sylvie Lee.
Sweet Potatoes are all the rage, aren’t they? With their vibrant orange hue, you can’t help but know that you are eating something really good for you! Sweet potatoes are versatile. You can eat them raw in salads; they’re great boiled and mashed with some coconut oil. You can cut them into chunks, drizzle with olive oil, and bake them into crispy wedges. A very simple way to prepare sweet potatoes is to bake them, as you would a typical white potato, and then add some favourite toppings such as guacamole, tomatoes, coriander and a squeeze of lime. In this recipe, I’ve chosen to scrub them well, leave the skins on, cut them into discs and bake them into little rounds of goodness you can use as the base for a tangy soft goat cheese, lemon, and thyme spread. They don’t take a lot of time to prepare and actually, you can have these in the works while you prepare another dish.
Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and are known to bring down inflammation in the body. They play a key part in balancing blood sugar levels. Loaded with fat soluble Vitamin A to keep our vision and immune system in check, it’s best to eat sweet potatoes with a healthy fat such as extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, to better help the body absorb all of the goodness. Depending on the number of cookie sheets you have available, you can have enough ‘rounds’ for a crowd, in about 40 minutes.
Top Tip: When baking vegetables, if you want them to crisp up on the sides, make sure they aren’t touching each other on the tray. If they do touch, this will encourage them to steam, and they won’t be able to get crispy!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
Total Time: 50
Serves: makes about 30 bites
- 1-2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 250g (1 cup) soft goat cheese, room temperature
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stems
- Grated rind of ½ a lemon, yellow outer flesh only, avoid white pith
- 1-2 Tbsp water (scant)
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Chives, for garnish
Heat your oven to 200C (400F.) Prepare a baking tray with a piece of baking paper or Silpat mat. Scrub the sweet potatoes and dry them well. Now, slice them into rounds that are about .5cms or ¼ inch wide. Place these on the baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and massage this onto the sweet potato rounds. Evenly space the rounds, being careful not to let them touch each other. This will ensure crispy tops and bottoms. Pop this into your pre-heated oven, and bake for 15 minutes, checking for doneness. If at this stage the rounds are crisping up on the bottom, flip them, and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes on the other side. They may take as long as 20 minutes on the first side. That’s fine, just know that when you turn them over, they will just need some crisping up on the second side.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, you can prepare the goat cheese. In a medium bowl, tip in the room temperature goat cheese, thyme leaves, grated rind, and pepper. Begin to mix this together with a fork, and add a bit of water to bring it to a spreadable consistency. It’s now ready for your sweet potato rounds, once they are out of the oven and have cooled.
Onto the cooled rounds, spread about a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture and top with a piece of fresh chive, or more thyme leaves. Flat-leaf parsley works well here, too. Arrange on a platter and you’re ready to go. Enjoy!