Take this sweet potato appetizer: it's essentially crisp sweet potato chips scattered across whipped goat cheese. It may just sound like a healthy plant-based appetizer that'll check the box for serving your vegetarian friends.
But that is seriously discounting this recipe. The smoky, crisp sweet potato combined with the ethereally light, sweet, peppery, herbed goat cheese is pure appetizer magic. It's one of those dishes you can serve as a start to Thanksgiving without filling people up or as part of a cocktail party as an unexpectedly indulgent bite.
The roast sweet potato recipe in and of itself is a keeper. By slicing the sweet potatoes paper-thin, you get crisp oven-baked sweet potato chips that are great on their own and even better with the goat cheese.
Then, the whipped goat cheese is so much better than just standard, right-out-of-the-refrigerator chevre. It's like the difference between heavy cream and whipped cream. The time in the food processor makes the goat cheese impossibly light and airy.
And though you must try it as we have it here. It'd be equally fabulous spread on a bagel, layered into a sandwich, paired with lox, or smeared across ripe tomatoes.
This recipe can really do double duty. It's a great option for an appetizer spread before a dinner party. But it'd be equally delicious as part of a tapas or small plates dinner. Say made into California-style mezze with, say, our pumpkin hummus, this Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Dip, and a giant green salad.
ends trimmed and sliced very thinly
at room temperature
plus 2 tablespoons for the sweet potatoes and more for garnish
plus more for garnish
plus more for garnish
Make the sweet potato chips: Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange racks in the upper and lower thirds.
Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Toss the sweet potato slices with 2 tablespoons of oil, paprika, and salt and arrange them in a single layer.
Bake, flipping halfway, until crisp and golden, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the chips from the oven and season with an additional pinch of salt before serving.
The chips are the best day they're made but they can be baked up to two days ahead. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Make the whipped goat cheese: Combine the room temperature fresh goat cheese with 1/4 cup of olive oil, the milk or cream, thyme leaves, honey, pepper, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an "S" blade.
Process on high until the mixture is light, fluffy, and well combined. Taste and add more salt or pepper as desired.
Serve the Whipped Goat Cheese: Spread a few spoonfuls of the whipped goat cheese on individual plates or one large serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil and honey and a few cranks of black pepper. Scatter the sweet potato chips on top, top with additional thyme leaves, and serve.
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