Sweet and salty combos have always been a favorite of mine and this one might take the cake. AND there's a double whammy here. We have the sweet potato and goat cheese battling the pistachios and dried cranberries. It's pretty much insane. Then, adding the tanginess (is that a word) of the balsamic glaze makes for a healthy and delicious appetizer and a for-sure hit at any party.
Now for a little sweet potato education... Whenever I go to the farmer's market, I am always so confused as to why what I know as sweet potatoes are labeled "yams" and the potatoes under the "sweet potato" label are purple on the outside and white on the inside. So, I did a little digging. Turns out, there are both white and orange (more commonly) sweet potatoes. Americans have started calling the orange ones "yams" to differentiate the two. Aside from their color, the white potatoes are known to be a little sweeter, although they have a tougher skin. And, the orange ones is known to have more beta-carotene which helps the body produce Vitamin A. I decided to give both a try for this recipe concluding that I prefer the orange ones.. YAMS. Okay enough of that... Here's how you make these cuties.
First I washed my sweet potatoes and cut them into half-inch slices.
Here's a secret for anyone who's lacking a little upper body strength (like me). Cutting into sweet potatoes is pretty hard and could preface a not-so-amusing story in the ER - so if you nuke the potatoes for 2 minutes in the wave before cutting them, it makes for an amazingly easier time, trust me.
Rub the slices down with somhe garlic and throw the potatoes in a bowl and mix in the oil, paprika, sea salt and lemon zest. Then, get your hands in there and make sure all of the slices are coated. Then , lay the slices on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven.
Another side note: I used a ceramic pan and a metal pan to test which would be better. Conclusion: the metal pan burns the sweet potatoes because the oven is at such a high temperature. The ceramic pan takes a little longer, but gives you the nice brown color you want, without burning the potato rounds. You can tell which of the guys came of which pan below.
After the potatoes cooled a little, I spread the goat cheese on them (which i waved for about 15 seconds for easy spreading). Then i topped with the pistachios, dried cranberries and my balsamic/agave mixture.