Monday, September 26, 2016

Sweet Potato Rounds with Herbed Ricotta and Walnuts

Yield: About 24 sweet potato rounds
Recipe from Julia Mueller of
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This is a very tasty and attractive party appetizer for autumn and winter days.  It looks fancy, but it’s quite easy to make.  In fact, you can prep the ingredients in advance and then pop it under the broiler and top with the walnuts, cranberries and honey right before your guests arrive.

Sweet Potato:
1 large sweet potato or yam, sliced in ¼-inch rounds (No need to peel.)
Olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Herbed Ricotta:
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning or pizza seasoning
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

For Serving:
1 cup raw walnuts
¾ cup dried cranberries
Honey for drizzling

Heat the oven to 400 F.  Spread walnuts on a sheet pan. Toast at 400F for approximately 10 minutes. Place walnuts on a cutting board and chop fine.  Set aside. 
Add all of the ingredients for the herbed ricotta to a small bowl and stir well to combine. Place the ricotta mixture in a fine sieve (or a larger sieve that has been lined with a coffee filter.) Place the sieve in a bowl to catch any whey/liquid. Refrigerate until ready to use.  (Doing this extra step will make the ricotta a bit thicker and therefore it will make the cheese less likely to seep out when topping the sweet potatoes.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the sweet potato slices to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt and ground cinnamon over rounds. Use your hands to rub the oil and seasoning on both sides of the sweet potato rounds. Arrange rounds on a large baking sheet or two if necessary. (To save on cleanup, line the baking sheets with parchment paper.) Bake for 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the rounds, then bake for another 17 to 20 minutes, or until rounds are cooked through and crispy on the edges.
Place oven on high broil setting and move the oven rack a several inches from the broiler flame.
Place a dollop of herbed ricotta on each sweet potato round and place in the oven for 2 minutes, just until ricotta is melty and warm. (Some of the cheese will bubble a bit and turn a toasty brown in spots.)
Remove the cheese-topped potatoes from the oven.  Top with the chopped walnuts and dried cranberries. Drizzle with honey and serve!

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