Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro Gremolta, Goat Cheese and Pepitas
Flavors speaking for themselves at its finest. Simple oven roasted sweet potatoes, 4 ingredient gremolata (Never made gremolata before? This was my first time too!), and always perfect goat cheese. (Seriously goat cheese, don't change a thing. Like ever.) The simplistic beauty of this dish blew my mind. Nothing fancy but jut like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. My love affair with sweet potatoes is actually a short one. They were always "okay" to me until I discovered one substitution that changed it all for me. Coconut oil. I know it is all the rave, and I use it all the time in other dishes. But simply swapping out whatever oil you typically use with coconut oil, really elevates the flavor of the sweet potatoes. Big time! I first discovered this when I was making Sweet Potato Wedges with Gorgonzola Dipping Sauce and ran out of my go to olive oil. I have not oven roasted sweet potatoes a different way since.
Gremolata. Just thr sound of it makes you sound legit. Sooo easy. Truthfully I have never made it before. In my head it had something to do with herbs and ice. Um, wrong. Well, partially wrong. I had the herbs part right. Traditional gremolata has parsley, lemon rind/zest and garlic. FOr my dish we swapped the parsley for cilantro and the lemon for a lime. It is stupid easy all. You're basically chopping herbs, lime peel and garlic. Pretty confident you can do that? Good!
But seriously. This simple dish has the best flavor. I know I have already said that. But I didn't even have room in my stomach for the chicken that was still cooking in the oven. And I had to stop myself so there would be enough for my bottomless pit of a husband. (He is way sexier than that makes him sound. Haha.) Anyway you cut it, this is going to become on of your go to side dishes. I stand behind every dish I post on here. But for the level of effort and skill that this one took and for the outcome, I am going to sing its praises from the mountain tops of Hawaii. (Because you know, that is where I live. Now I just need to go on a hike so I am on top of a mountain.)
3-4 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 bushel cilantro
1 garlic clove
2 oz grumbled goat cheese (about half a container)
1. Peel your sweet potatoes and cut them into medallions roughly 1/2" thick. Place them on a silicone mat on top of a baking sheet.
2. Melt your coconut oil in a ramekin or bowl. Once it is melted, evenly brush it over the sweet potatoes. (I typically leave a tiny bit for when I flip them, but you don't need much.)
3. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. It is kind of a season to taste thing here. Get a bit on every piece, season well but don't over do it.
4. Conservatively sprinkle cayenne over the sweet potatoes.
5. Put them in the oven at 425 for 25 minutes. They should be bubbling and slightly browned on the underside (underside not pictured) when you flip them.
6. Flip the sweet potatoes and use any remaining coconut oil on the freshly flipped side.
7. Very lightly drizzle with honey. The sweet potatoes are already sweet, this is just to add a bit more caramelization.
8. Put the sweet potatoes back into the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. If you really want a good char on the edges, you can broil them for an additional 3 minutes or so.
You can go ahead and start your gremolata while the potatoes are cooking.
1. There are two ways you can go about this. I do not have a microplane at home, so I used a vegetable peeler to remove the rind from the lime. (If you have a microplane, use that.)
2. Once you have removed your lime rind, chop it as finely as you can. Do the same with the garlic.
3. Remove the cilantro leaves from the stems. (There are time I am lazy about doing so. This is not one of those times. You want all of the ingredients to come together with similar textures and consistencies.)
4. After you have removed the stems from the cilantro, add the chopped up garlic and lime rind to the cutting board. My lime was a little dry, so I gently squeezed just a little bit of lime juice from 1/2 of my lime. If your rind feels pretty moist, you do not need to do this.
5. When it is all done it should be just damp enough to cling to itself.
6. Refrigerate and set aside until serving.
When you are ready to serve, transfer the sweet potato to your serving dish. Sprinkle the gremolata and the goat cheese evenly over the sweet potatoes.