sweet-potatoes-with-pecans-and-goat-cheese Recipes

sweet potatoes with pecans and goat cheese

This is the kind of thing you come up with when you have a one year-old who, like many one year-olds, wishes to eat sweet potatoes with every meal. Sure, the goal is for the kid to eat exactly what the rest of the family is eating for dinner, but there are only so many days in a row we can feign excitement over a side of sweet potatoes and I have only so much heart to deny the kid something he delights in. And so I spent a good part of September and October roasting sweet potatoes, repeating the task enough times that I made two great discoveries.

roasted and downright marshmallow-y
goat cheese

The first discovery came about through laziness. Tired of slicing thin pieces and laying them out over two trays, one day I cut very thick rounds that would fit on one tray and discovered that like steak, if you want three layers of texture (two satisfyingly firm exteriors and a soft center), you want a thick piece, high temperatures and to flip your “steaks” halfway through for even cooking.

terrible photo of a good salad

Like most good kitchen discoveries, the second one happened by accident, that is, getting distracted enough by a climbing one year-old that the potatoes blistered and became a little dark on top. Almost charred. Almost “oops!” These soft-centered, nearly blackened discs tasted tremendously like toasted marshmallows, if marshmallows were something you could pull off without gelatin, a candy thermometer and epic amounts of sugar and were chock full of Vitamins A and C thus could be eaten guiltlessly. And we all know that the intersection of marshmallows and sweet potatoes much mean that Thanksgiving has come around again, and people, I love the tastes of Thanksgiving.

roasted sweet potatoes with good stuff

And so I built a little salad, a little fall salsa, a little pile of Thanksgiving with small diced celery, shallots, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, parsley and crumbled goat cheese and a light vinaigrette and I sprinkled it over these marshmallow-y sweet potato coins and lo and behold, found something that felt like Thanksgiving without the ensuing food coma, and that all three of us delighted in eating at the same time. Oh thank goodness.

mine

One year ago: Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
Two years ago: Silky Smooth Pumpkin Pie
Three years ago: Simplest Apple Tart and Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Four years ago: Dreamy Cream Scones

Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, Goat Cheese and Celery [a.k.a. Roasted Marshmallow-y Sweet Potatoes with Thanksgiving on Top]

I roast vegetables a little oddly these days. I used to do it the “normal” way, tossing them with oil and then laying them out on a sheet but I always needed more and more oil and the pieces still stuck. Once I started generously oiling the pan, my vegetables started browning really well and didn’t get weighed down — most of the oil stays on the roasting pan.

Wary of celery? Swap all or half with chopped radishes. Don’t like goat cheese? Try ricotta salata or even blue cheese instead. Firmly believe that everything is improved by bacon? Crumble some in there, or use browned bits of pancetta. Don’t like sweet potatoes? Skip them and added diced leftover turkey to the “salad”, with additional vinaigrette or just mayo.

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 firmish 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, like me, got too soft of 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 the baby 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.

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338 comments on sweet potatoes with pecans and goat cheese

  1. I love sweet potatoes so many ways – with coconut butter, with peanut butter, in french fry form (with ketchup!), baked in a casserole dish with brown sugar and now….this! I have 2 big sweet potatoes just waiting to be cut into thick slices and roasted :)

  2. Ooh, yum! With a 6 month old who’s just starting to eat, I’ve been roasting some sweet potatoes around here too. These look awesome, though, we’ll have to try it.

  3. I had some really awesome sweet potatoes once that were cubed, tossed with oil and Jamaican jerk seasoning, and oven roasted. They held their shape, were lovely on the plate, and had a sweet/hot thing going on which I just loved. However I love your idea of making little steaks, and I completely agree about roasting to darkness which is how I do them with the skins on for a side dish of mashed or for a pie.

  4. 1. Your kid is adorable
    2. I cannot wait to eat this. I’m with Jacob – I could eat sweet potatoes with every meal, too, and the topping sounds absolutely wonderful.

  5. This is PERFECT. The one year old in my life loves goat cheese and sweet potatoes, but we never thought to put the two together! Now if you could just work dropping it on the floor into the recipe somehow she’d have everything a girl could ask for…

  6. This looks delicious – I will definitely be trying this. But mostly, I felt nostalgic when I saw the “One year ago: Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin” — this was when I started reading your site, and the first recipe I made. I have checked your site almost daily since! Thanks for a great cooking year!

  7. I grew up calling thick-fried sweet potatoes “Garden Steaks.” They’re delicious.

    My father also shot a deer (that was grazing in the garden) in his Fruit-of-the-Looms, one fall morning. THAT venison served to make garden steaks of another variety all together.

  8. You just said two of my favorite words…ok four – sweet potato and goat cheese. You could do much worse than having a sweet-potato loving one year old!

    The marshmallow taste is spot on. I don’t know if I’d have figure that out but that’s really what an over cooked sweet potato tastes like!

    I might just have to have these as part of my vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.

  9. This is a beautiful dish, with such color it must be delicious. It is wonderful that your child has been exposed to and enjoys such nutritious food. I like your idea of putting blue cheese on top.

    -Brenda

  10. Amazing! Just went to inform my husband of our new dinner plans for this evening!! These will be made in New Zealand tonight (although we don’t have sweet potato here so Kumara it is).

  11. I’m glad you mentioned the bacon, because at first glance, I thought the cranberries in your pictures were bacon, and now I can only think about crispy bacon with soft cheese and potato …

  12. So pretty! And yes, definatly needs bacon. Everything does. I bet you could put two or three of these in a little cardboard container and put them out for cocktail parties!

  13. I have a small question, do you toast your pecans in the oven with the sweet potatoes or do you put them in a saute pan? Do you add oil to toast them? Anyway, I LOVE sweet potatoes!!!! Thanks this looks absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!

    1. Katherine — I usually toast them in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, dry. But I’ll also pop them in while the oven is preheating for something else until they are toasty.

      Eliza — This is a kind of last minute thing. The potatoes lose their nice crisp edges once they sit. If you can roast them last minute, roast them in advance, rewarm them when you’re ready to serve them and only top with salad at the very last minute.

  14. do ahead ideas for Thanksgiving? Should I just wait to top the potatoes until serving time? Thanks! It’s just so perfect for Thanksgiving!

  15. I am in the mood for Thanksgiving flavors, too! Just made a turkey meatloaf with sage and thyme and squash puree the other day . . . another Turkey Day twist without the food coma. Your sweet potatoes look absolutely delicious!

  16. I love how so many of your recipes don’t have wheat or dairy. Makes it so much easier to feed my full of food allergies family. Thanks! I think we’ll be trying this for Thanksgiving dinner.

  17. I am trying to follow a low-carb diet and recently discovered how much higher in sugar content these are than regular potatoes, which is a shame because I really miss them! You have beautiful photographs on your site and this recipe was inspired.

  18. This looks amazing. I know what I’m grabbing the next time I go to the grocery store. Also, perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner!

  19. Oooo thank you for this recipe… I just took the last bite of a sweet potato – straight out of the oven, down the hatch and it sure could have used some dressing up!

  20. If you are having sweet potato burn out try Bobby Flay’s scalloped sweet potatoes with Chipotle cream. Won’t work for your little one but mine are older! The dish is my the oven right now. Basically whoosh a tbsp of chipotle with 2c cream, and do the thin slice, layer with cream and salt bit. Bake at 375, covered for a while, then uncovered. Yum.

  21. This looks SO GOOD. I can imagine it as a really posh lunch on its own, but you’ve tagged it as side dish, so could I ask: what to? (Apart from, obviously, the big bird and the cranberry sauce.)

    1. March — More that I wanted to make sure that people looking for Thanksgiving sides could find this here, too. I’d eat it for lunch. Actually, I did!

  22. Here in the wide brown land we don’t serve sweet potatoes with marshmallows – in fact we seldom do the whole vegetable/confectionery thing at all.
    My family just loves roasted sweet potato, which I always cook until it has those yummy caramelised bits on it. I also use it (or pumpkin) in a slightly similar salad.

  23. I am a massive advocate of the burnt bits on sweet potatoes! Mum used to cook them for a roast, and just put them in with the normal roast potatoes. But since normal potatoes take heaps longer to cook the sweet potatoes would always be overdone, slightly burnt and absolutely to die for. Now just to convince the bf that they are that good…

  24. I was just looking for starters to a birthday dinner party I’m hosting on Thursday and once again you have saved me!

    Can’t wait to make this

  25. What a great appetizer idea! I never though of using sweet potatoes like that. I usually eat them right off the pan when I roast them. hahah

  26. If I were to mix in a can of (drained and rinsed) black beans or garbanzo beans would it a) taste good and b) be more meal like. It sounds delicious, I’m just trying to think of a way to increase the protein without increasing the cheese.

  27. If my family Thanksgiving was not dedicated to plain sweet potatoes in their skins I would make it next week. Instead I will try this for a delicious celebratory week night meal. As I am the only one here who eats goat cheese I will need to select the variety with care. I want to savor my treat.

    -Robin

  28. Sweet potato is a staple in any fitness persons diet and goat cheese is a gift from the heavens! What a brilliant way to glam a healthy choice up for the off season! You’ve inspired me to come up with more variations!

  29. You got me going. I sliced mine a little thinner (btw thanks for the tip about putting the olive oil on the pan so that some don’t stick…once you read it, it’s like duh, why didn’t I think of that?!) and I combined the goat with a little gorgonzola to give it a bit more of a flavor profile. Don’t laugh, I also threw in some finely diced avocado…just ’cause I had some. It was delightful and added an extra nutty punch! Thanks and so glad I stumbled upon you. You are now on my blogroll!

  30. i LOVE sweet potatoes! i am thinking about starting to feed my son (he’s 6 months) and i keep reading sweet potato is a good thing to start with. i love the fall but ive still been eating summer foods…gah…this really will put me in the mood.

  31. My dad is a huge sweet potato fan (the more orange variety, less so the whiter ones) and we had them at least twice a week when I was growing up. Which has lead me to my own scarcely believable love of the tuber. And this. This just makes me want them more (if that’s possible) and I might just make these as an appetizer for T-day. My assignment for this year (all gluten free due to hosts allergies) are an appetizer (hadn’t picked one yet), the sweet potato side dish (chipotle gratin) and a chocolate dessert (your gluten free financiers). So thanks for the inspiration and the recipes!

  32. At first I was like another bruschetta and Roma tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto dish. But this wasn’t that, the sweat potato makes an excellent original idea. I certainly will make this recipe as it looks delicious and inventive.

  33. I roast sweet potato medallions fairly often from fall through winter. One of my favs is to sprinkle one side with ground cayenne (and always salt) and then let that side roast slightly longer to carmelize. oh my, sweet and hot and warm with another topping or not: maple syrup or goat milk yogurt have been tried and are yummy.

  34. Lovely! I will definitely have to try this soon, especially since this is the time of year when I want to throw pecans and dried cranberries into everything. (Is there ever a time of year when I don’t feel compelled to add goat cheese to just about anything?! I don’t think so…)

  35. i roast sweet potatoes w/skins until almost burnt to get that sweet caramelized flavor…this is a fabulous twist with a great presentation!
    &…
    jacob is just the cutest & most photogenic!!!

  36. I can NOT wait to try this recipe!!

    Listen: Reynold’s non-stick aluminum foil is the best invention EVER! Cover your cookie sheet with it before you roast anything and you will never have problems with food sticking again. I swear! Plus, it’ll be easy clean up;)

  37. I am going to get some sweet potatoes. I’ve only cooked with them once, maybe twice. I feel like I don’t really have a flavor history of them stored in my brain. So I am going to get some sweet potatoes because I like the look f the thick cut rounds you made and the description of “firm exteriors and soft centers”. I want that textural flavor experience for my own self. :)

  38. Wait, so the baby eats nuts? I have a one year old as well, and I’m still nervous about the possibility of choking. My boy is still just working on tooth #5. The celery too…he manages it ok? And, if you don’t mind my asking, how do they come out…in the end?

  39. *sigh* My spouse took one look at this over my shoulder and exclaimed, “Are you f***ing kidding me? Gross!”

    However, my daughter and I love the idea of it, so she and I will make it and not share any with anyone else! =)

  40. Wow, these were great! While eating, I thought they would make great appetizers for a holiday gathering. I love the way you roasted them – skin on, in rounds. They definitely get more of the soft and sweet insides this way than when just roasting chunks. Adding this to my recipe list. THANK YOU!

  41. I have tried sweet potatoes for the first time only when I moved to the US. I like them only on the spicy side for example roasted with garlic and rosemary. As I love all the ingredients you used in the topping I am sure that preparing sweet potatoes that way can be my next favorite.

  42. Wow – that might even get my partner to eat sweet potatoes. We had to put our dog on a special diet involving yams and sweet potatoes and since then, he can barely look at them.

  43. This reminds me of a story about a good friend of mine. When she was little she loved sweet potatoes and wanted them for every meal… so much so that once her mother frantically rushed her to the pediatrician. She had TURNED ORANGE!! Otherwise she was just fine though. The doc said just cut down on the sweet potatoes.

  44. Typo? “(two satisfyingly firm exteriors and a soft center), you a thick piece”

    Anyway looks like a great side for thanksgiving

  45. Wow, this looks amazing! And so much easier than slicing the sweet potatoes more thinly! Though I think I’d probably use crisp diced apple instead of the celery.

  46. I’m a newbie to this wonderful site, I saw this on my lunchtime break and made it for dinner this evening as randomly had all but one ingredient in the kitchen… it was a taste sensation and the sweet pot (or kumara as we call it here in New Zealand) was perfectly cooked exactly as described. awesome, thanks… and so exciting to cook something on the fly!

  47. i realize i am in the extreme minority, but goat cheese isn’t my thing. what do you think about feta? i LOVE sweet potatoes…yum

  48. Hi from Sydney Australia, I love coming to your site, your food is so inspirational it gets me excited about cooking! My 2 year old son loves your sweet potatoes “YUMMO Mummy …” he says after tasting each one. Congratulations Deb another awesome food idea. All the best.

  49. Sweet potatoes have carotene, an orange substance, which becomes Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin stored in the fat layers of the body, including just under the skin. My daughter also would only eat sweet potatoes or carrots as a baby. When she went for her check up the doctor asked me laughingly how many carrots I was feeding her. Sure enough, in the bright lights of the doctor’s office the orange tint of her skin was evident. As a Home Economist I should have figured out the possibility but as a young Mom I just wanted her to eat vegetables with every meal. It took months of not eating any for her body to use up the surplus and become a normal healthy color again. Everything in moderation. We all laugh about it now and it was a great story to share with my students. But I am going to make this recipe for all of us, just not every day.

  50. I am going to make this with some roasted pork loin tomorrow night. YUM! And, like Diane, I also fed my darling little girl copious amounts of sweet potatoes and carrots because she loved them and was frightened one day when my husband took a photo of the two of us with our faces side-by-side and she was decidedly orange! She’s sitting next to me now, nearly 12, and not orange at all.

  51. I find that a bit of oil on a silpat mat works wonderfully for browning root veggies and no sticking. (What did I do before silpat mats?)

  52. Sweet Potatoes are Heaven! (I learned this from my Southern grandma.) The counter point of celery is inspired and nuts and goat cheese– yum. Any inspired ideas on turning this into a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre? I still have a goodly stash of SP from my CSA boxes and party season is coming.

  53. Two, two, two great ideas in one… First, I’m thrilled about the olive oil tip and secondly, I can’t wait to make this recipe for dinner this week… I’m not waiting until Thanksgiving!

  54. Sweet potatoes with every meal? You’re lucky. Mine, who also turned golden from stuffing himself as an infant with everything yellow, then went through a hardboiled egg phase as a toddler, increasing his intake every day until one day at breakfast he finally stopped after his 9th egg. So you have the Cool Hand Luke of Sweet Potatoes. What’s next?

    The recipe looks yummy — I’ll gladly eat sweet potatoes for many many meals, which is good since we have an abundance from our CSA.

  55. This reminds me of a dish at one of our local restaurants – sweet potato nachos. The slices are cut thin and fried until crispy (somehow they’re not greasy though – some sort of restaurant secret) and topped with goat cheese, pecans and a tart cherry salsa.

  56. Deb,

    I started reading your blog because of my food of love. Now, I read it to see JACOB!!! Since the first photo of him and your very clever post about him, I HAVE BEEN IN LOVE! I love watching him grow and remember when my girls were that young. HE IS ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!

  57. a few years back i scoured your site for sweet potato recipes having the same problem – a baby that LOVED the orange stuff and the rest of us TIRED of eating them. i landed on your tahini butternut squash salad, and i can assure you, it’s divine with sweet potatoes swapped in.

    also, i generally use a piece of parchment on the pan when roasting vegetables to help with the sticky and avoid more oil – i like your idea of coating the pan (or the paper) in my case and will give it a try.

  58. That topping looks so fanastically crunchy. It looks like I have all the ingredients, if I sub walnuts for the pecans, to make a scaled down quantity of this recipe. I love it when that happens!

  59. Will be making these tonight, thanks Deb. I am looking forward to eating this, full flavors, but simply prepared. Your thoughtful and scrumptious recipes are wonderful!

    I totally agree with you about not “tossing” the veg to be roasted in lots of oil first. There is always too much residual oil that way, oven spatter, and inevitably it sets off my smoke detector. What I do and what works every time is that I preheat a jelly roll pan at 450 F, then once preheated add “cold oil” to “hot pan”. I use canola oil and/or grape seed for oven-searing. (I also often use alum foil, but maybe you do not want to because of the baby?) That way, the veggies get a great sear, caramelize nicely which then makes them so much easier to turn over. I either flip or just shake ’em up at the halfway point, depending on how I cut them and what variety of veg it is. I almost always turn down the oven temp a bit depending on the variety and whether or not I am eating the veg as a side or preparing for a pureed soup.

    (I oven-sear sea scallops that way, too, but I preheat to 500 F. 3 minutes on each side, heaven. I also throw in a teaspoon of butter and the very end, so they are effectively seared scallops in brown butter.)

  60. This looks fantastic, and I love “lazy” solutions. Ever since Jacob arrived on the scene, I’ve been hoping for recipes that can be “deconstructed” to appeal to both parents and kids. My 6 and 4 year olds can be picky eaters, and I’m constantly on the prowl for recipes that have kid-friendly parts to them that can be set aside. I constantly make your Spring Panzanella, since my kids like the beans, asparagus, and croutons on their own – and we their parents like it all pulled together with the vinaigrette. Sometimes the kids even get adventurous and try the complete dish. It’s a great way to help them experiment.

  61. Oh good LORd woman – you have outdone yourself with this – you make it impossible to sit in my office and get any work done. All I do after reading your blog is make shopping lists – and pine away the day til I get home to get in the kitchen!

  62. I love this- I’m gonna have to build it into my sweet potato rotation. I can see it as very adaptable dish for different seasons, too- use a black bean, corn, and cotija salsa on top of chili-dusted sweet potatoes, or shrimp salad on Old-Bay coated sweet potatoes. Great dish!

  63. First, I love your blog. I’ve been inspired more times than I can count! I have a question about roasting veggies, based on something you said,

    “…used to do it the “normal” way, tossing them with oil and then laying them out on a sheet but I always needed more and more oil and the pieces still stuck. Once I started generously oiling the pan, my vegetables started browning really well and didn’t get weighed down — most of the oil stays on the roasting pan.”

    I do it the “normal” way, but are you suggesting that you ONLY oil the pan? Or do you still toss with oil AND the pan? I would think the later, but wanted to be sure.

    Thanks!

  64. This looks fabulous. I have the opposite problem and have a family who doesn’t want anything to do with sweet potatoes and am always trying to find new ways to prepare them. Love this recipe. I can already tell that the sweetness of the potato and the tanginess of the goat cheese will be scrumptious together. Thank you.

  65. This looks really delicious, and I just happen to have all of the ingredients on hand. I definitely think I’ll try the radish and bacon substitutes. Question…do you have an recommendations for substitutions for dijon mustard? My boyfriend won’t eat mustard of any kind in anything, and this is an ongoing issue for me with tons of recipes I love.

  66. i don’t know what it says about me (or your son) having the same eating habits. i eat a minimum of 2 dinners with sweet potatoes as a side per week. but i’ve never thought of goat cheese!!!

    i’ve recently discovered a recipe on real simple – brie + sweet potato flat breads. as a quick dinner, i just roast the sweet potatoes (minus 5-6 minutes), then put on top of pita with brie spread across. so tasty and easy!

  67. Duh. Why didn’t I think of this? Brilliant. I do something similar with russet potatoes. Bake them off in the oven. Cool overnight. Next morning slice exactly like your sweet potatoes. I put some olive oil in my favorite cast iron pan and cook till nice crispy brown of each side. Serve with perfect poached eggs and a mix of ketchup and hot sauce of your choice. (I love the one that has a chicken drawing on the front and a green lid. What’s it called?). Oh dear. Now I need to go eat. Debs Sweet potatoes? Yes.

  68. I discovered a trick recently that has saved me from the “veggies stuck to the bottom of the sheet” syndrome. Not only do I preheat my oven, but I preheat my sheet as well. I end up using significantly less oil and I get a nice caramelized bottom too.

  69. I love sweet potatoes…and I needed a fun side/app to take to my dads on thanksgiving, and this is it! ;) thank you thank you for another wonderful twist on sweet potatoes. I hadn’t thought of using them as a bite size app. in slices…brilliant. ;) and with goat cheese…well…these will go over fantastically I can tell you!

  70. What a wonderful idea for a healthy and delicious appetizer! I am all for mixing the potatoes’ sweetness with the goat cheese’s tang. A vegan alternative topping just sprung to mind – hummus! When I worked late nights a couple years ago, a cheap dinner I used to make was a baked sweet potato stuffed with hummus. Always made my day during those long evenings. I am looking forward to trying this for Thanksgiving.

  71. I started roasting thick cut sweet potatoes a few years ago. They’re a perfect platform for all sorts of flavors. So far, my favorite is the one mentioned by Celeste (11)–jerk seasoning. The thyme and allspice in the seasoning go great with the sweet potatoes. And, the spicy kick is the perfect counterbalance to the sweetness.

  72. Fantastic- my teenage daughters are vegetarians- now my second wants to become vegan(you see it’s not only with one year lods that one has problems of what to cook!!)- I don’t think it will last but every idea helps- this looks terrific- thank you-:)

  73. This looks fabulous. I discovered the joys of thick-sliced sweet potatoes when grilling them last summer. Your steak analogy is spot on. Now for the challenges of my one year-old, who went from LOVING her sweet potatoes to not wanting any. I even tried giving her white sweet potatoes, thinking maybe it was the color, but alas it ended up on the floor. You have inspired me to make another go at it.

  74. I’m sure the sweet potato slabs are beyond brilliant . . . but I need a portable Thanksgiving side dish that can survive a cooler for a few hours. Do you think this might work with the sweet potatoes (or possibly butternut) chunked up and mixed with the salad as a kind of sweet-potato-potato-salad? Maybe with a little extra vinaigrette? It *seems* feasible . . .

  75. LOVE LOVE LOVE! I WILL consider serving this on Thanksgiving Day! I have the same problem with needing more oil when I roast vegetables, so thanks for the tip!

  76. When this recipe title came up in my inbox, I honestly thought: “yawn”. I figured they’d be the same old thing, mashed, with cheese and pecans mixed in.

    I was so, so wrong.

    These look amazing and they’re getting short-listed for next week’s dinner!!

  77. WOW! I made these tonight. This is the best sweet potato side, I have ever tasted. Wish I had made an extra potato. I will next time. Thanks, I have made a few things from your site. They have all been “top of the mark”!

  78. Lovely and addictive, this is. I made it tonight, and love the combination of the crunch of celery and pecans with the smoothness of the goat cheese and sweet potato. Thank you!

  79. These look amazing. But. Say we don’t like nuts and celery (I abhor the two, but that’s just personal). What can we do besides parsley and cheese?

  80. This was so so easy and just superb!!! I just used what I had around for the topping (wanted to make it as soon as I read this), so I used balsamic vinegar, some red onion, cilantro, and small chunks of sharp cheddar cheese. Still delicious, thanks so much for enlightening us on this style of roasting!!

  81. Thank you for making me remember how much my now 20-year-old daughter loved sweet potatoes as a baby. Such sweet memories. Enjoy Jacob while he’s little. They grow up so fast.

    PS – This recipe looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it.

  82. Wow, this looks and sounds so good. And perfect timing too because I wanted to do a little pre-Thanksigivng meal for my husband and I this weekend, but am in the middle of finals and do not have time to spend all day in the kitchen. Thanks, Deb!

  83. Exactly what I needed along side a smoked turkey to bring in the traditional Thanksgiving flavors. And of course I’ll have to experiment tonight just to be sure. Thanks!

  84. These look fabulous. And I will have all those ingredients in the house for Thanksgiving. I am thinking they will be perfect for round two on Friday night as a fresh dish to add to the leftovers. I wonder if you can broil the goat cheese in a layer and add the rest of the salsa/relish to the top as I am pregnant and have to cook the goat cheese to 165 to appese the doctor and my OCD.

  85. I made these last night with a few modifications, and they were lovely! We used some extra parsley added cilantro and Cherry Craisins as I’m allergic to nuts. Delicious! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe Deb! I think this might be our contribution to our family Christmas dinners, as Thanksgiving has come and gone in Canada.

  86. I’m sorry to make you read another comment, Deb, but CAN YOU HEAR ME SINGING IN NEW YORK????!!!! I made these last night and had leftovers for lunch. A DELIGHT! I can’t thank you enough, and I can’t stop smiling!

  87. This has become my new favorite recipe for sweet potatoes. Made these the other night for myself with what I had on hand… sauteed chopped celery, carrots, zucchini and sun-dried tomato Tofurky sausage all together with olive oil, celery seed and sage, and topped with a bit of mozzarella.

    Simply divine!
    And it still was reminiscent of Thanksgiving and stuffing. Making a double batch this weekend for my boyfriend and I. Delicious AND affordable to boot.

  88. I made these tonight and we ate them ALL. Delish! I love the little taste of Thanksgiving with the cranberry, celery and pecans. I’ll be making this again for sure. Thanks, Deb.

  89. I had nearly given in to the idea of leftoversfor dinner…. when at the last minute I decided to check your blog. Instead of leftovers, we had this delicious dish. Thank you! It turned out fabulous and definitely one that I’ll be making again.

  90. Made this tonight for me and hubby. Didn’t have goat cheese, so substituted blue cheese and put it on a bed of fresh baby spinach. Not only tasty, but a satisfying winter salad. A do-again in my household. Thanks.

  91. Oh my God these look amazing. I think I need to convince my mom that I should make these for our thanksgiving dinner. Also, please check out my new cooking blog! You’ve inspired me :) And I had a lovely semi-fail on making up a sugar cookie recipe tonight.

  92. This looks great–I was just trying to talk my mother out of the marshmellow situation at Thanksgiving! She said she was open to alternatives, and I’m sure she’ll love this one. Thanks!

  93. Dearest Deb,

    This was one of the best things that I have ever made, and I have made a lot of Smitten Kitchen treasures. In fact, it was so good that I might just have to make it a second time this week. You are my hero!

  94. I made this last night, but varied it. instead of the salad ontop i actually roasted the sweet potatoe in oil and a little balsamic, then put a small amount of goat cheese then i put green beans that i quickly sated on top with the red win vinigar and dijon mix.

    SOOOOO GOOOOODDDD

  95. i have never had every single ingredient on hand for one of your recipes whilst actually *reading* your blog. until today! i threw a diced jalapeno into the ‘salsa’ because it was on the verge of dying in the fridge. thank you for this (and all your other posts, that i’ve been reading & cooking for years).

    j

  96. Thank you so much for this post! I have been reading you for years and absolutely love your style, your food…everything. I have always loved sweet potatoes but have never been adventurous when it comes to cooking them other than baking them. This was (sorry) like a revelation for me. I tried it the night I read your post and have absolutely loved it! Thank you!!

  97. Thanks for a fantastic idea! I tried this the other night, varied a bit because of what I had on hand (feta, slivered almonds, celery, lemon and olive oil), so good! The potatoes are wonderful cooked that way and so cute, too. I will be making this again, and soon.

  98. Sweet potatoes are my absolute favorite food. I’m always looking for new ways to prepare them, and this looks divine! I can’t wait to try it out… it might have to make an appearance on our Thanksgiving table!

  99. i am not a crazy fan of sweet potatoes. i typically like the first few bites and then they become too sweet for my liking. however, i made this for dinner with a friend, and i could eat multiple sweet potatoes now if made this way! i was also eating the salsa leftovers with a spoon the next day. yet again you add a new dish to my rotation!

  100. Long time reader, first time commenter – made these tonight and LOVED them! Thanks so much for the idea! God, how I love everything with goat cheese…

  101. This looks absolutely delicious, and I can’t help wondering…where in the WORLD did you find such beautiful, fresh goat cheese in the city???

    1. Rachel — Actually, that one had been ordered from Fresh Direct; I think it was a crottin from Coach however, you can buy fresh, delicious local goat cheese at the Union Square Greenmarket any day it is open. Or Murray’s; they sell Coach there and others from outside NY.

  102. This is a winner. I have a live in vegetarian boyfriend and am always looking for interesting supper dishes like this.

    I freestyled it slightly and used pomegranate, feta, coriander and diced fennel in place of the cranberry/goat cheese/parsley/celery but it still worked a treat.

    Bit of a chili kick was also good too.

    Thanks Deb, Smitten Kitchen is becoming an obsession!

  103. These were so great! It was such a nice escape from the normal sweet potato-y things you found around this time. I also added freshly grated nutmeg and sea salt on top when they were assembled, and then served with a framboise and it was amazing! I think I’m going to make it again at my boyfriend’s families Thanksgiving.

  104. I was in New York about a month ago and my husband and I had a wonderful dinner at the Harrison. My veg entree consisted of a sweet potato, kale, and quinoa. Might sound like hell to a carnivore but there was love and affection lavished on that potato and it had spend some time on the grill. It had the most wonderful smoky and, yes – you are right, reminiscent of marshmallow flavor. I have been thinking of it ever since. This looks wonderful beyond belief.

  105. So easy! So delicious! Like tiny little Thanksgiving pies… I think I’m going to make some more of the salad topping to toss with a bowl of wheat berry. Yum and yum!

  106. I made the sweet potatoes like this last night, and loved them! I have a whole bushel of sweet potatoes to use up, so this might come into the rotation again…tonight.

  107. my friend brought these to dinner last night. they were great!! i love anything with goat cheese and dried cranberries, what a great combo.

  108. just so you realize, this salad is addictive — we may need to start holding meetings! i have made it 5 times in the last week, brought to 3 different parties, and basically been spreading the gospel far and wide. you done good.

  109. I am drooling looking at these photos! I love sweet potatoes, and this is the most interesting recipe I have seen in a long time!

    Jacob is adorable! I bet he is into everything, isn’t he! :-)

  110. I made this with cucumbers instead of celery ( cause that’s what I had at home) and I also made the butternut squash and lentil salad for a dinner party on Friday. Both were huge hits with adults and 1 years olds alike :)

  111. Mmm, I must try this! Baked sweet potatoes are fantastic stuffed with black-bean chili and goat cheese, by the way.

  112. I try to find a new way to sneak sweet potatoes onto my Turkey-Day menu every year… especially since we’ve moved to my dream house with my (almost) dream kitchen. We’ve been here 6 yrs and I’ve made sweet-potato scones, sweet-potato fries, roast taters, blah blah blah. THIS year will be different-this is such an elegant-looking dish and can’t wait to serve to my family and friends!
    BTW you saved my @$$ a couple of years ago, had to come up with an innovative dessert & found your pumpkin bread pudding recipe; still serving it. Had a VERY corporate luncheon potluck to attend (I know it sounds weird) but that dish was the easiest and most elegant I found. Had folks DEMANDING the recipe. I left out key ingredients (like doubling the spices, heh heh) so that mine would still be the best, in the event I brought the same dish as someone else in future years. Bwahahahahahah. YOU ROCK!!!

  113. I made the sweet potato part of this dish as a side for dinner tonight (I, perhaps much like Jacob, am unabashedly all about the sweet potatoes). Your unconventional methods worked like a charm–no sticking, creamy centres, marshmallow-y exteriors. However, I’m a little concerned about what all of this olive oil is going to do to my shiny new half sheet in the long run…as I’m sure you know, vegetable oils exposed in the oven tend to bake into brown, sticky patinas that are almost impossible to scrub off. Any suggestions?

  114. Your kid is on to something, because sweet potatoes are like the best food ever. And really good for you, better for you than greens, even.

  115. I have some garnet yams from my CSA right now. Think I could sub my yams for the sweet potatoes? I know yams and sweet potatoes are technically not even relatives of each other, but it seems to me that they cook and taste similar enough to be able to use one in place of the other.

  116. These were awesome. Made them last night. We eat sweet potatoes probably twice a week. Baked or I make s p fries. These were perfect. We sampled one before the salmon was done. Hubby and I gave it an A and will have it again. Emailed recipe to Daughter and D-In -Law. Think the grands might like to help cook this one. The salso was delicious- I did leave out the shallot though. We actully had everything on hand and didn’t have to go to the store. A keeper and will have it for company.

  117. Love Love Love Love Love. Planning on making these for Turkey Day….any thoughts out there if they would reheat okay if I made them tonight or early in day tomorrow???

  118. I’m in New Zealand and I had a thanksgiving potluck and I made this dish. I got asked about a dozen times for the reciepe! My good friend who hates any form of vegetable tried it and raved about it. Thanks for the recipe. As much as I wanted to claim credit I gave it all to you.

  119. OK, I made this dish…and it was AMAZING. I made some mods (cos I don’t like cranberries and yams together) but got rave reviews. Here’s what I did:
    1. Used “herbed” goatcheese.
    2. Didn’t have flat parsley, so used basil out of my yard.
    3. Minced some celery, but (again) didn’t have shallots, so used a scant teaspoon of chopped onion.
    4. My vinagrette? 5 tbs. rice vinegar, 5 tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, cracked pepper & a dash of garlic. I poured this over my 5 c. minced celery/basil/onion mix.
    5. I have ‘grape’ tomatoes (that are actually the size of peas!) in my yard, so I threw a handful of those into the celery mix.
    6. I didn’t put the goat cheese in the vinagrette (some guests don’t like goat cheese) so added it as garnish.
    I cut up 4 yams & made the “steaks” too fat :( hubby said the flavors were amazing but they were too thick, he wanted to be able to taste the yam & salsa in one bite, not have a mushy pile of yam to eat. But! he would TOTALLY eat this again (which is the litmus test for a great recipe!!)
    Thanks again! I think my search for “How to incorporate yams into Turkey Day” has finally ended!

  120. Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow. I made these little wonders for Thanksgiving dinner today and everyone LOVED them. My potato slices didn’t crisp up as described but that was the only let-down. This recipe is a total keeper!

  121. I made these last night (exactly as written)…and I am currently eating leftovers at my desk…soooo good! Thank you. Last week I posted about the joys of eating roasted sweet potatoes with creamy coleslaw. You have taken the same sweet potato, savory, creamy, tangy thing and stepped it up a notch…into something elegant! Love it!

  122. Made these today, I didn’t have any Pecans on hand so I used Walnuts, it was a wonderful salad and perfect topping for these Sweet Medallions thanks for another great recipe!

  123. Good lord I’ve died and gone to heaven just reading this recipe. You are my hero please move to Australia and marry me now! Your kiddilywink is pretty cute, he can come too! *s*

  124. I ‘tune’ into your website all the time, all the way from Kenya and stole a few recipes for my recent Thanksgiving celebration in Kenya–this dish was a party favorite. There was a single one left–I was sans pecans or walnuts and used hazelnuts instead and it was amazing!

  125. Made these tonight for my in laws thanksgiving dinner. They were amazing!!! The only thong I did different was I drizzles maple syrup on the coins after flipping them, and soaking the craisins in red wine for 30 minutes before adding to the mix!! It was awesome! I heart your blog and am a huge fan! Just wanted you to know I’m grateful for you!!

  126. With family and friends around for the holidays I’ve had the occassion to make this a few times alread. My twist is gorgonzola, arugula, bacon, cherry tomatoes, celery and pecans, and it’s been a big hit!

  127. Excellent – Everyone raved about these at dinner party tonight – This will be become a new household staple dish. Thank You for your creation

  128. i used these for thanksgiving! they are soo delicious! and the topping can be eaten with anything! my friends ate it straight with wheat thins, and my mom mixed it in a tune sandwich. very versatile and it is delicious. and coming from a person who hates celery, it is amazing!!!

  129. Oh wow! I tried this last night with roasted gammon. Delicious. The sweet potatoes didn’t crisp up enough on the outside (I think my oven doesn’t get hot enough), but it was truly delicious anyway. The salsa just works wonderfully with it. I also put cherry tomatoes in the salsa and gently fried the onions and celery as I’m not a big fan of raw onion, but it was really only a tiny amount and still worked wonderfully!
    Ooooh more more more!!!!!
    Thank you for such wonderful recipes (and fun commentary). Keep it coming. x

  130. This is insanely good looking which had me running into the kitchen to try and let me tell you that looks do not deceive! As another poster said my sweet potatoe did not scrips up like the pictures either but I’m happy about that because I liked it soft. I have a crap oven so this is no reflection on the recipe!

  131. I made this as written but diced the sweet potato to make a more-portable salad. But I think it would be better with the bigger chunks of sweet potato because in my dish, the flavor of the sweet potato was not very pronounced (almost overwhelmed by the shallot, actually – Deb is serious when she says one SMALL shallot!). I will definitely make it again, though, with the bigger chunks. Delicious!

  132. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was great! I couldn’t get enough of the salad on top and my mind is just whirling with what else I can put it on. Everyone was scooping out spoonfuls of the stuff before it even made it to the table. It was just as good microwaved the next day. Brilliant! I’m posting about it on my blog with a link to you. Thanks so much!!

  133. YUM YUM YUM! I made these last week and they were so good! I had leeks and Gorgonzola on hand already, so I topped mine with that, then broiled it for a minute to melt the cheese. I think I’ve just found my new favorite way to cook sweet potatoes. Thanks for sharing!

  134. I found your website & this recipe just in time for Thanksgiving, mucho thx!! these were a smash hit & will be appearing again at Christmas. I subbed balsamic for red wine vinegar and pine nuts for pecans. I gave some extras to the neighbors the next day due to after-Thanksgiving food surplus and received two raving compliments and one request for recipe (I will be giving due credit and reference to your site, of course ;^)). thanks again & God bless!!!

  135. For the past few years, we’ve tried one new recipe each Thanksgiving. This was the one this year. It was simply delicious. The best, though, was that last night, I took the left over goat cheese/cranberry/pecan/celery topping mixture and sprinkled it over arugula. Topped with a light vinaigrette (you could use the same one in the recipe) it was an amazing salad. The creaminess of the cheese, sweetness of the cranberry, peppery arugula and crunchy celery and pecans – YUM!

  136. I made your recipe as written for Thanksgiving and it was delectable. I wanted a sweet potato dish that was nutritious, lower in sugar, with fewer calories and fat than the typical sweet potato casserole. Thank you for providing such a versatile and tasty solution!

  137. When I pulled these out of the oven to flip they were completely black on top and I thought “oh heck. Why did I decide to try this again?” and I rushed to the freezer to make sure I had a backup frozen pizza just in case.

    I forgot about the salsa, so I threw together some goat cheese, toasted walnuts, sliced craisins, and minced red onion with mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

    O.M.G. They were incredible! They did not even make it to the dinner table, I ate half of them before I was finished cooking the rest of the meal, and I kindly reserved the other half for my husband. They were smokey, the texture was perfect, and they would work with or without the topping. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  138. Made these for Thanksgiving, and they were incredibly delicious – thanks so much for helping me think outside the box in terms of sweet potatoes! I plan to repeat the magic this week just for kicks – so yummy.

  139. Love this blog and have made so many delicious dishes from your site. Thank you for adding new life to our dinners! These are fabulous, we have had them three times in one week. The second time I doubled the recipe as the first batch disappeared in no time.. since it was Thanksgiving I probably should not have done that, I had a few left overs when the dust settled. However, I scraped off the toppings and put them in a container in the fridge and place the sweet potatoes in another one. Next day, I re-heated the potatoes and added the toppings for a quick but oh so delicious lunch. I am now on to tinkering with the recipe, there is a whole world out there of topping choices now that Deb has opened my eyes to the possibilities… Thank you!

  140. These came out okay. Not amazing – but passable as a side at Sunday dinner. They blackened sooner than I thought, too. Not a fan of celery and nuts – just did the goat cheese and called it a day!

  141. Just made these for a late lunch… Perfection in every bite. I added some carrot cuz I have some in the fridge, used walnuts, and swapped out half the parsley for some rosemary/thyme. I think its more thanksgivingy that way. Ohh… And I added the barest amount of maple syrup to the dressing… Maybe half a teaspoon. So so good :)

  142. Made a large batch of these for dinner–YUM! ! ! Teenagers want to take the leftovers to school for lunch tomorrow =) Used dried cherries–I put brie chunks on mine & kids put small chunks of smoked gouda. Thank you for the delish new fav!

  143. So, I always want to hear people’s comments who actually made the recipe rather than just people who LOVE whatever the main ingredient in the dish is that day. Here’s my recipe review:

    The topping is delicious on its own. Goat cheese, cranberries, nuts, etc… can’t go wrong. On top of the sweet potatoes it provides an interesting texture, but it’s a little bit too many different textures. Just nuts, or possibly even just nuts & dried berries heated up with the potatoes could work. But all of the different textures of the topping are kind of weird along with a soft, warm sweet potato. I recommend chopping the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes and making a sweet potato salad of it. That’s what I did with my leftovers, and I liked it a lot better that way.

  144. I made these for a post-thanksgiving dinner. The sweet potatoes (I actually used yams) didn’t get all nice & dark on the outside like yours but they were still delicious! Great mix of flavors and textures!

  145. Oh boy – this was a good one! For my Sunday night football repast I went with a couple of slices of thick-cut bacon and, after removing much of the bacon grease, toasted the pecans in the pan (that alone is a great find – toasted bacon-pecans with black pepper). Dried cranberries were a clear choice. No parsley in the larder but did find serviceable chives and so used those – all to the goodness of the outcome. I read Kate’s comment with interest as I too have leftovers; I’m going to try and resuscitate them in the oven (I think nuking them will destroy the nice “crust” they have). Happy holidays!

  146. While I didn’t bother with the “Thanksgiving” salad on top, I have been seeking a way to enjoy sweet potatoes more often, and these thick slices, “fried” in the oven with a generous amount of veg oil is perfect! I used my little toaster oven which worked wonderfully, especially when I got antsy today so hit the toaster function and was blessed by beautiful brown blisters and crispy skins. Thanks SO much for this one!!

  147. Hi! I’m in the process of making this tonight. My sweet potatoes don’t seem to be charring quite right, but I’m doubling up in the oven so that’s to be expected I suppose. However, the salad alone that goes on top of this – WOW. I keep sneaking little spoonfuls of it. I opted for cherries and did add a little fried pancetta to entice my husband to eat it. Oh, and I didn’t have red wine vinegar, so used some apple cider vinegar instead. In any case, it’s delicious. I may just make a huge batch of it to take to Christmas this year, without the potatoes!

    Also, PS – because I had the cherries and celery both out, and I was hungry, I made some “Ladybugs on a Log.” Celery + cream cheese + cherries = YUM.

  148. I am so excited to make a second attempt on these tonight! The first time (a couple of week ago), in a moment of stubborn stupidity, I went to make these and decided that since the photo showed them on a metal baking pan, then by Jove, I would put them on a metal pan. Problem is, my only metal pan is a jelly roll pan. Even though I applied what I thought was not enough oil to spill over the (non-existent) edge of the pan, I forgot that my oven was badly in need of re-leveling. So, in the sweet potatoes went on their oiled jelly roll pan. About 10 minutes later, the bottom of the oven was engulfed in flames from the oil that had dripped down onto the flame element, and we had ourselves a good ol’ fashioned grease fire on our hands. After extinguishing the flames with baking powder, we went out for burritos instead.

    Tonight: Pyrex. With SIDES. And some laughing at myself. Thanks for all the great recipes. Deb!

  149. Made these again tonight, these are now a household favorite. I finally got my veggie-phobic boyfriend to admit true love as well – just add sausage! I used goat cheese, celery, pecans, tiny bit of shallot and a bunch of crumbly sage sausage, and then used apple cider vinegar for the dressing. Too good! I don’t know how all your commenters are having leftovers, they get eaten so fast when I’m near then :) Although I did have one medallion left last time, which I topped with sage sausage, goat cheese and a fried egg for a perfect breakfast twist! Thanks so much again for this recipe!

  150. Oh, these are amazing. I’m busily posting the link to this recipe on all of my foodie friends’ FB pages. What I’m wondering is whether you use the terms “sweet potatoes” and “yams” interchangeably, because the pictures definitely show yams, but you call them sweet potatoes. Just curious. Maybe I’ll try sweet potatoes next. Regardless, I couldn’t believe how delicious these were. I served them as a side dish with an improvised mushroom quiche and they made me smile and smile.

    1. Laura — Are you sure? I Googled images for both yams and sweet potatoes and well, they both look like this. I bought them from the “sweet potatoes” box at a little farmer’s market by my apartment, from a farm that claims they do not grow yams (because I wanted to compare; I suspect in a recipe like this you could use either).

  151. For reference, sweet potatoes and yams are actually different families of veggie entirely. But, according to Wiki, “The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) has traditionally been referred to as a yam in parts of the United States and Canada, but it is not part of the Dioscoreaceae family.” I just looked this up recently, actually!

    1. Sorry, I was unclear: I did know that they are from completely different vegetable groups. What I wasn’t totally positive about was if I bought what I said I’d bought. Anyone else think they look more like yams?

  152. I have these in the oven right now; I’ve just flipped them. I’ve been looking forward to trying this recipe for a month. I nibbled on one slice that I had cut too thin– amazing, magically caramelized. Just the thing to go with black bean chili and coffee. So simple too! Just the thing to take the chill out of staying up nights writing term papers. I have no goat cheese (alas, grad student budgets) but I plan to mix some low-fat yogurt, pumpkin seeds, celery and red onion. Thanks for a great recipe!

  153. I would never claim to know…my research is based on my shopping. The sweet potatoes at the store I shop at are right next to the yams, and are kind of pale yellow. The yams are orange, like the ones in your pictures, which is why I assumed you had used yams. This is the extent of my research. :) But potato, patahto, this recipe is one of my favorites. What I have to be careful about is not making the recipe to death. I find something I like then I make it once a week for three months and get sick of it! So even though I WANT to make them again right NOW, with sweet potatoes or yams or whatever, I am holding back.

  154. I used sweet potatoes and they turned out orange like the pictures too…they were TO DIE FOR…my super picky boyfriend loved them and I cannot wait to make them again and again and again! Thank you so much Deb!

  155. Wow, this was so yummy, I couldn’t believe it! Thanks for another fabulous recipe – this is one I’ll be making over and over! Hope you had a nice Christmas, Deb.

  156. You learn something new every day…in NZ, what we call ‘yams’ look nothing like the pictures in the recipe. They look like this:

    So now I’m interested to try an American yam! (our ones are great too, by the way…)

  157. This is an absolutely fantastic recipe and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It has become part of the family holiday dinner canon, replacing the sweet potato casserole! We’ve done this recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s tradition now–no going back. :) The salad on top is the perfect counterpoint to the potatoes–both in texture and temperature (we’ve made the salad ahead and kept it cold in the fridge before placing it on top of the hot sweet potatoes just before serving). Thanks for a great recipe and for making our holiday dinners a bit healthier and tastier!

  158. Delish! I ate the first one without goat cheese, and it was also amazingly good! Served it with pan-sauteed pork chops with a bit of a garlic-mustard sauce. Made a LOVELY meal.

  159. Deb – you bought what many supermarkets (and the marketing board, I’ve seen boxes in the produce section) incorrectly call yams. If you kept looking through Image Search, you might have found a pic with more brownish skin and white flesh, which is the true yam, and which you’d be most likely to find at a Caribbean or African market–which is why Americans keep getting away with botanical misuse. If we’re going to get technical, typical cultivars of orange sweet potato are Jewel, Beauregard, and Garnet, so now you know if you see them labeled by type. Sarah, what we call a yam, you would call orange kumara.

    (I can’t claim full credit for being a know it all. Credits to Elizabeth Schneider’s Vegetables From Amaranth to Zucchini.)

  160. Entirely amazing. I never would have thought of combining these flavors, but they are perfect. I used craisins, green onions instead of shallots, feta cheese, and walnuts instead of pecans. (I had to use what I had in the pantry!) I wish I’d known about this recipe for Thanksgiving. Maybe next year. :)

  161. These are delicious, my friends and I made them not long after this recipe was posted and I’m so excited because I’m making them again for a party this weekend – and just to join in the fray, those are NOT yams. And also, who cares?

  162. These were simply amazing. I can’t wait until I can make them again! We had about 6 leftover the next day, and I just popped them in the microwave for about 25 seconds… they were still delicious! Great recipe.

  163. I first made these for Thanksgiving (for some surprise guests), and discovered that I liked the salad by itself as much as the yams/sweet potatoes! Even my family likes this salad, as long as I hide the celery before they eat it. I usually sub walnuts for the pecans, and leave the goat cheese off to the side, so people can add it as they wish. This might also be really good wrapped in some lettuce leaves, which I will try as a soon as it gets a little warmer…

  164. Yum, this was fantastic. And easy.

    I used sunflower seeds instead of nuts (allergy), and feta because I had it in the fridge. Otherwise, I put it together as written.

    Like some others, mine didn’t brown up as nicely, but that’s just my lousy oven.

    My husband’s working late tonight, and I told him I’d save some leftovers, but I definitely want to keep eating it all!

  165. OMG! I was looking for an appetizer that was something different for a party that I’m attending. I usually turn to your website, because I’ve had so much success with your recipes, and so today, I found this recipe. Love, love, LOVE the combination of flavors, and the fact that it’s not fried, greasy, or loaded with fat. This will be a hit today – I guarantee it! Thanks!

  166. made them tonight! i had to alter the salad based on what i had available (namely red peppers instead of celery), but they were delicious!! even the non-vegetable-eating kids liked them!!!

  167. I’m a yam convert! These were the last things left in my CSA box, and they’ve been staring up at me every time I open my fridge. I’ve never been a huge yam fan. I thought maybe they’d go with goat cheese, so I googled and found this. I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I substituted: about 2 small shallots worth of yellow onion, finely diced; 2 stalks (only) of Swiss chard for celery; champagne vinegar for red wine vinegar; raisins for cranberries – until I realized these were supposed to add some sour flavor, so I diced up two medium-sized, picked-too-early strawberries; and I had some herbs so I chopped up some rosemary & thyme. Somewhat recognizable as this recipe and VERY delicious. It seriously made me weak in the knees. Thanks for the guidelines!

  168. Oh, and walnuts instead of pecans & I didn’t have any parsley so I just left that out. Basically, there were yams, Dijon mustard, olive oil and goat cheese and then a totally different recipe.

  169. These were the best sweet potatoes I ever made! And I didn’t even have goat cheese on hand, so I used small dabs of cream cheese instead. I didn’t have shallots either and still, it was SO delicious!

  170. I’ve been making these since you first posted and they remain a family favorite. In fact, I think my husband would be delighted if I made them every week. Thanks for giving us one of our favorite meals. (You should have seen my husband’s face when I told him you were writing a whole cookbook!)

  171. I’ve tried a lot of your recipes with goat cheese, because I was like, “If I’m going to like it, it’s going to be through one of Deb’s recipes!” But I haven’t (sad face) until this (yay!). I don’t know why it’s important to me to find at least one dish to like with a certain ingredient in it (radishes are next on my hit list), but I’m so glad there’s this for goat cheese. Bravo!

  172. These are DIVINE! Thank you so much. I love love love your blog and have told many friends about you!

    I am wondering what to serve them with tonite. I will try glancing through the above posts for ideas.

  173. For as long as I’ve known him, my husband swore up and down that he hated sweet potatoes. When I told him what I planned on making this week he gave me that “why do you insist on trying to feed me food that you know I don’t like?” look. Every Thanksgiving he has reminded me of this fact. When I made your lentil sweet potato recipe last week he wouldn’t even try it.

    But then something magical happened. Last night I made these sweet potatoes. When I heard him walk in the door, I yelled that he had to try them before he complained about them. As I walked into the kitchen to show him the topping, he informed me that he had already eaten one. Within the first 30 seconds of coming home. And had 4 more on his plate. Apparently he now loves roasted sweet potatoes

    Personally, I didn’t like the celery topping, but I loved trying something new and finding a unique dish to make for my family!

  174. So delicious! We just made this. The baby enjoyed a couple of sweet potato coins sans toppings. We thought it was perfect…even without parsley, which we didn’t have. Will make again over Thanksgiving, I’m sure.

  175. I made this last year for a Christmas party … the best conversations of the night surrounded these coins!!! It wasn’t a dull party by any means, it’s just that everyone LOVED these! The best phrase was, “These are like Thanksgiving in a bite!” :) I loved all the attention but gave you all the credit. ;) The only thing is that I cut these a little thinner than you mentioned. Not much but I like a more dense sweet potato, personally. So looking forward to making these in a few days!!! Thanks Deb. You’re the star of the season. Hugs.

  176. I made the sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving using this technique–but ran out of time–so ended up just sprinkling them, both sides, with a little 5-spice powder. My spouse is asking for them now about as much as Jacob. They are fabulous!

  177. I spent Thanksgiving with a group of friends, one of whom brought this dish. We all thought it was so delicious and kept going back for more. I got the recipe from her and can’t wait to make it myself for the next potluck I go to.
    P.S. She brought the sweet potatoes in one dish and the salad in another. They are so good together but I thought the salad was delicious as a stand alone side dish as well.

  178. I just wanted to say that this is quite possibly the most incredible dish ever conceived. I have made this dish dozens of times, and every time I serve it to someone new they oh and ah and then ask me for the recipe. A most impressive appetizer for a dinner party and THE PERFECT potluck dish… vegetarian and gluten-free but universally delicious! Deb is is a genius!

  179. We make these all of the time now. Year-round. Our only complaint is that we never remember to store the leftover sweet potatoes and topping separately in the fridge so that we can warm up the sweet potatoes without over-heating the topping. Thanks for another winner!

  180. Delicious! My roomie and I made this last night, and I couldn’t believe how good it was. The potatoes were creamy, and the combo on top was perfection. The only thing we had to substitute was balsamic vinaigrette for red wine vinaigrette.Thank you!

  181. Tonight I deconstructed this into a salad, added some tomatoes and radishes and made double the dressing. Such a great summer variation on one of my favorite sk staples!

  182. I made these last night and adapted the topping a bit. I mixed sauteed onions (cooled to room temp) and grated Mexican cheese. Placed little mounds on top of the cooked sweet potatoes and returned to the oven for an extra 3-ish min to melt the cheese. Super tasty. I’m sure that variations of this will be in our rotation for the next several months!

  183. My family is going to do a lil pre thanksgiving thanksgiving this weekend, and I’m totally going to try this.

    I love your recipes and your attitude! Thanks for what you do!

  184. These were great, but I’d double the recipe because we were still hungry. I used radishes instead of celery. These tasted like sweet pickles. Soooooo good.

  185. This is my first time using your site after hearing about you for years. This recipe was phenomenal and I have never received more compliments about my food before! I doubled the recipe for a Friends-giving dinner last night, and they were gobbled up within minutes. Awesome.

  186. I have made this recipe a number of times before and love it to death. I now find myself in the situation where I need to come up with a Thanksgiving appetizer, but have no oven. But obviously, this is the first thing I can think of. Do you think I could just pan fry these and still make it work? Or will it just not have that same wonderful texture?

  187. I just bought your cookbook on Saturday, and I am completely bummed that this recipe wasn’t front and centre, star of the show. :)

    I have already tried a recipe from the book (onions and tomatoes and beans and toast – wow), with two more in my eye, so I think I will get over this momentary dismay, but really: for this glorious recipe, you get elected to goddess status, you know.

    1. April — Hi! I am glad you’re enjoying the book. Most recipes from the site were intentionally left out because I wanted the book to be a value for long-time readers. :)

  188. Served Spanish Onion Jam on rye toast with grated emmentaler broiled on top (p 87) for Christmas Eve dinner and I was elected to goddess status. :)

    I know – it should have been in grilled cheese format, but I was too lazy to stand there over a hot frying pan when I could be watching an oven with a glass of wine in my hand.

    I expect your publisher to be shortly providing you with a staff so that we can have Smitten Kitchen Desserts, Smitten Kitchen Appetizers, Smitten Kitchen Breads, Smitten Kitchen Vegetarian, Smitten Kitchen Chicken, Smitten Kitchen Breakfasts ….. basically I want an encyclopedia set.

    To be honest, I go straight to the web for versions of recipes when I have a food item that I need to cook before it takes over the world, but when I have leisure time to browse the possibilities of gormand bliss, I want a book.

    I will buy any book that indicates it comes from the Smitten Kitchen archives with your approval. I will buy it in hardcover. (Your publishers have the J.K. Rowling of the cookbook world, if they are only smart enough to foster her properly.)

    *ahem* Right. I’ll be off to try the Fromage Fort, then. :)

  189. I just had to add to the comments on this old post – I made a tex-mex version of these last week after realizing I didn’t have any celery but did have beans, jalapeños, etc. as suggested by other posters. They were tasty, but I still wanted to try the original. So I made them last night and they are GENIUS! My husband and I loved them and this will certainly join our regular rotation.

    I also wanted to add that, after hemming and hawing for some time about whether to buy the cookbook or not (after all, you have a lovely site full of free and fabulous recipes!) I bought 3 copies for myself and sisters for Christmas and am so glad I did. It’s lovely as well and I am so happy for your success!

  190. I made this for some friends last week, and I’ve made it two times since then because it’s SO delicious and incredibly easy to whip up. I substituted part of a green apple for the celery (it’s what I had on hand) and I thought it worked perfectly fine. I want to make it again for dinner tonight, but I’m trying to space it out… so good!! :)

  191. I’m definitely trying this wonderful recipe for my Passover dinner. I’m going to use low fat or non fat goat cheese.
    Deb, any chance you can incorporate low fat recipes (at least once a week/ month) on your website?
    I’m on Weight Watchers and it’s not always easy for me to try and convert your recipes using ingredients lower in fat.
    Thanks.

  192. Deb, you are a genius! The sweet potato “pillows” are amazing, transformed from their usual mushy self to something altogether different. You could do all sorts of toppings! I added crisp apple, radish, used fresh cranberries, and less celery, and it was fabulous. I can’t wait to try new incarnations of this!

  193. Needed to chime in on your beyond exquisite “little pile of Thanksgiving”….It truly WAS…and my French hubby was raving over this particular dish…I am a rabid follower of yours…and rarely comment…but simply had to tell you how much this lusciousness was appreciated here, across the pond! I didn’t have the pecans..alas…but I used my pignoli (pine nuts) to substitute …and it certainly did not ruin the overall effect of your brilliant recipe…Thank you so much for this new fall staple in our household!

  194. Can’t wait to try this. Gonna use feta instead of goat cheese and I have had a dish that had a hummus sprinkled with feta and a fig balsamic reduction that was to die for. ( I think people have been doing the same thing with Brussels sprouts.) anyhow, give a thank you hug to your son for helping you push the boarders on your cooking adventures!!

  195. Recently came across this recipe and couldn’t wait to make it for my dinner. It certainly didn’t disappoint! I’m surprised I have any leftovers it was that good!

  196. You have always the best recipes!! Thanks to you i am going to cook this for my very first thanksgiving dinner! Thank you so much for writing this blog!

  197. Made this for Thanksgiving as a salad – giant bed of spinach topped with cubed, roasted sweet potatoes, the celery salad, pecans, and goat cheese. BIG HIT!! I don’t think I’ve ever received so many compliments. Made it again for Christmas. I have a feeling this will be my requested dish for events (along side your spicy caramel corn and matzo crack). Thank you, Deb!

  198. I just came across this wonderful post, and my husband declared that he could become a vegetarian if we cook more recipes like this! Win-win.