Sweet Potato Ricotta Crostini w/ Roasted Grapes & Thyme
“Things on Toast”. I have always been an avid supporter of this kind of eating. I even thought that if I was ever lucky enough to write my own cookbook one day, that this is what it would be titled. I am lover of bruschetta, tartines, crostinis, or anything for that matter that is served on a toasty crunchy little vessel. I think because I am someone who is a devotee to textures, I am kind of obsessed with the way different foods come together in your mouth in a single bite. A creamy center amid a cripsy frame is what I am all about. Layers and levels of flavor as well as composition are what make food enjoyable and, in my opinion, set the tone for artistry and craftsmanship. You can build an incredible meal when you really start to consider what exactly makes individual ingredients standout or blend in. Here is my food for thought: not only is important to think of “things on toast” as one structure with several stories, each supporting and holding the next level up, but all food should be understood in this way. This recipe, in particular, is one of my most favorite, simple yet seemingly fancy, toast creations. I love the crunchy rustic loaf paired with the velvety sweet-potato cheese, topped with the roasted grapes that taste like candy, and sprinkled with earthy and aromatic thyme. It has depth of flavor and really emphasizes the antecedent “food for thought” proposition. Also, I can not help but mention that it’s star ingredient is taking us straight to Healthy Town, USA. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense little miracles packed with extremely high levels of antioxidants and many essential vitamins and minerals. It is a superfood that some experts believe we should eat every single day. I could easily get on board with this campaign and I think I’ll start right now….
- 1 cup sweet potato, skinned and diced in 1/4″ cubes (1 small sweet potato)
- 1 cup red grapes
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
- 1 TBSP milk (I used almond milk, use whatever you have or use water)
- 8 small slices of a crusty rustic loaf
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- minced thyme for sprinkling (about 1 TBSP or less)
- honey for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 400. Place the sweet potato cubes on a small rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Toss with your hands to make sure all the sweet potatoes are covered in oil and spices. In an 8×8 glass baking dish, add the grapes, 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss with your hands. Set the grapes aside. Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 10 minutes. Once, the 10 minutes are up add the grapes into the oven alongside the sweet potatoes. Roast them together, side by side, for 12 minutes. Let both grapes and sweet potatoes cool a bit.
- After a minute or two of cooling, add the roasted sweet potatoes to the bowl of food processor. Add the ricotta, cumin, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. I added 1 TBSP of almond milk to thin out the mixture just a bit.
- Toast the slices of the rustic loaf in the toaster oven or under the broiler. Spread the sweet potato ricotta cheese mixture on the toast, top with a few roasted grapes (be sure to stick the grapes into the spread to avoid them rolling off the toast), drizzle honey over the top and sprinkle with a little bit of fresh thyme leaves. Serve immediately while the toast is still warm! Enjoy!
- This recipe makes enough for 8 slices of toast and would serve 4-6 as an appetizer. If you have extra sweet potato ricotta spread leftover, save it in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before serving again.