Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Goat Cheese Salsa

Serves 4-5

3 pounds sweet potato, scrubbed, unpeeled, cut in 3/4- to 1-inch coins
8 Tbsp.  olive oil, divided
½  c.  toasted and cooled pecan halves
2 small shallot
4 stalks celery
4Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
5-6 oz. Capriole fresh goat round, cold so that it crumbles
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp.  wine vinegar
½ tsp.  smooth Dijon mustard

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 2 large baking sheets generously with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil each.  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 cook longer. Sprinkle slices 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 pecans well, mince shallot, chop celery and parsley, and mince cranberries if using them. Crumble your goat cheese and stir it lightly into the mixture. In a small dish, whisk together the remaining 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. red wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon dijon. Pour half over salad.

When the sweet potatoes are done, them on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salsa over each round. Pour remaining salad dressing over top, to taste. Eat immediately.