On Valentine’s Day, many of us will be baking or buying sweets for our loved ones. And I’m no different. Andrew, the girls and I will have dinner at home on Tuesday (somewhere between a piano lesson and theory class), and I’ll make sure I end the meal with something sweet to make everyone happy.
But earlier in the day I’ll be serving a sweet that no one but me really likes. At lunchtime, I usually eat on my own, so it’s a good chance to make something that only I enjoy eating. And on Valentine’s Day, that will be sweet potatoes.
True, Andrew doesn’t mind sweet potatoes in small doses. For example, as a modest side dish to whatever the main course is. But he has never made a meal out of a sweet potato and a little salt, like I have. And he isn’t the one who wistfully reads sweet potato recipes and dreams of a day when her family will love them as she does.
I didn’t like them as a kid, which is why I still hope to convert my girls. Now, knowing all the health benefits and wonderful taste of sweet potatoes, I can’t imagine feeling any other way.
So for Valentine’s Day lunch, I'll make these delicious sweet potato rounds to enjoy by myself. And if my family is reading this post, I promise the most romantic thing of all – I won’t serve any of the leftovers to you.
"What's in a name? That which we call a yam
By any other name would taste as sweet."
(with apologies to Juliet Capulet)
Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, Goat Cheese and Celery
(adapted from smitten kitchen)
1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, scrubbed, unpeeled, in 3/4" coins
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup toasted and cooled pecan halves
1 1/2 stalks celery
1 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 ounces firm goat cheese
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil. Lay sweet potatoes in one layer on the oiled sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece. Sprinkle with additional salt and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Chop the pecan halves and the celery and mince the cranberries. Crumble the goat cheese and combine with other ingredients. In a small dish, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil with red wine vinegar and Dijon. Mix with the salad. Scoop a spoonful of salad over each sweet potato round and serve.