The latest recipe from the Glover Gardens test kitchen just passed muster with The Grill-Meister.
This is a big deal because the main ingredient is sweet potatoes – and he doesn’t like sweet potatoes.
I wanted to try something new and couldn’t get excited about any of the recipes I found, so I did a little experiment using my Everything Rub, sweet potatoes, goat cheese and fig-flavored balsamic vinegar.
It worked! The spicy-sweet chipotle of the Everything Rub paired really well with the creamy, slightly tart goat cheese and the velvety-smooth fig balsamic vinegar. The Grill-Meister said, “Not only would I eat that, I really like it!”
High praise, indeed.
Here’s how it goes.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar
Cooking time: 1 hour (total); Serves 8-12 for a holiday meal
- 3 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 4 large)
- 2 tbsp. Glover Gardens Everything Rub or your favorite barbeque rub
- (Click here for the Everything Rub recipe – it’s quick and easy)
- 1/4 cup safflower oil or other cooking oil with a high smoke point, like corn, canola, peanut or sunflower, but not olive oil
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- ~1/4 cup high-quality and slightly syrupy balsamic vinegar (I used fig-flavored but regular or another flavor would work)
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley and/or fresh oregano leaves
Preheat the oven to 425°. Wash, scrub and dry the sweet potatoes, then cut off any eyes or damaged bits. Leaving the skins on, cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2″ x 3/4″ rectangles, not worrying about making them exactly the same size. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle the Everything Rub or your favorite barbeque seasoning over the potatoes, stirring well, then pour over the oil and stir again until the oil and seasoning are distributed evenly.
Line two large baking sheets with foil and spray with cooking oil. Spread the sweet potatoes over both baking sheets, making sure they’re in a single layer. Roast on the middle and top racks of the oven for about 22 minutes, taking them out halfway and turning them, switching the baking sheets when you put them back in. The sweet potatoes should be soft on the inside and beginning to crisp up on the outside.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, crumble the goat cheese into small pieces and set aside.
Turn the oven to broil and watch the top baking sheet, checking at 1 minute, then 2 minutes and removing before 3 minutes or whenever the sweet potatoes are browned to your liking. Move the middle sheet up to the top and repeat the broiling step.
When the second baking sheet has finished browning, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. Add the first batch to a shallow serving dish and taste one of the sweet potatoes to see if you need more salt. Add freshly ground pepper and salt (if desired), then crumble half of the goat cheese on top in an even layer and drizzle half of the balsamic vinegar over the sweet potatoes and goat cheese. Put the second batch on top of the first batch and repeat the salt/pepper, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar step, then top with the parsley and/or fresh oregano. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make It Ahead
Make this 1-2 days ahead by completing the steps through the broiling, then cover and refrigerate the sweet potatoes. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before serving, reheat in the oven or microwave, and remove half to another bowl to complete the layering and garnishing steps. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Join Me in the Kitchen
Don’t Shy Away from the Everything Rub
Sometimes I feel a little discouraged if I have to make something before I, well, make something, like in this recipe, the Everything Rub which serves as the spice mix for the sweet potatoes. It seems like it will take too long and make it overly complicated. But that’s not the case here and I hope you’ll take the extra 5 minutes to make Everything Rub because a.) it’s delicious, and b.) there’ll be extra that you can use on something else. There’s a whole list of ideas in the post about Everything Rub.
Taste Test – Plating for One
This was a one-and-done test, a first-time pre-make of a dish I plan to serve on Thanksgiving. I made it far enough ahead that I could punt and try something else if it wasn’t worthy of our holiday table, although I was pretty sure the flavors and textures would work. The dish is designed to add the goat cheese and balsamic vinegar just before serving, so I couldn’t go all the way home on the recipe, but to be sure, I had to plate up a single small serving.
So I did it right (fancy), with a fork from Grandma’s silver and a glass of wine at the breakfast table, which is already being prepared to be used for appetizers and/or desserts on Thursday.
Yum! This dish is truly the epitome of that phrase, “more than the sum of its parts”. The blend of textures and flavors is Thanksgiving-fancy while also being homemade-comforty – what more can you ask?
OMG, I just got another idea for a garnish – dried cranberries! Maybe I’ll put some on the side and let guests decide whether or not to go there…
The Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar were a hit! Here’s how the finished dish looked in a quick snap right before the meal.
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