I never appreciated the rain when we lived on the East coast but now when it rains here in California, I get excited and I’m game to walk the dog when it’s wet. Snoopy doesn’t share my enthusiasm. Wet rainy weekends are the best and this past weekend, I took some time to get things a little more organized in our home and to get the ornaments out of the boxes. We hung our stockings and pulled out the lights to decorate with.
Holiday parties and events started a little earlier than usual this year or so it seems. I attended two before Halloween, then two more just before Thanksgiving. I think I even saw a Bûche de Noël at one of these events. A bit too soon if you ask me and this is coming from someone that would love to celebrate Christmas year round. But it’s finally time (at least for me) to start talking about what to cook for holiday parties (and what to eat).
Crostinis make the best appetizers because they’re flexible little boats to carry whatever tasty thing you can come up with. These sweet potato crostinis are easy to make and I’ve included two of my favorite ones, a fresh mozarella and thyme topping and a date wrapped in proscuitto that’s topped off with salt flakes. Pair this off with the delicious Pinot Noir from Dark Horse Wine and you will have a tasty appetizer that’s a fun take on the usual crostini.
Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing these crostinis,
- You can bake the sweet potato slices a little longer to make them crispier on the edges.
- I sometimes like to add a little marinara sauce under the mozarella cheese and even play around with the herbs I use. Oregano and rosemary are two of my favorites that I also add to the cheese topping.
- Maldon salt flakes – use the smoky variety for an added flair but the regular kind works great too!
sweet potato crostinis
2 large sweet potatoes (any color is fine but preferably pick ones that are long)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 350F. Wash the sweet potatoes under running cold tap water and scrub any soil off. Pat dry with a clean paper towel.
2. Using a sharp knife slice the sweet potatoes across their length into 0.5cm thick slices (you should get at least 6 slices depending on the width of your sweet potato).
3. Brush each slice with a little olive oil on both sides and place them on a wire rack. Season each slice with a little salt and pepper. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Proceed to the toppings and choose which ever one you want to.
a. Mozarella and Thyme (for 12 slices)
12 fresh mozarella Ciliegine
12 sprigs of fresh thyme
1. Place a piece of mozarella over a prepared slice of sweet potato. Add the sprig of thyme over the cheese and gently press it down. Prepare the rest of the slices similarly. Bake in the preheated oven for at least 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Serve warm.
b. Salted Date and Proscuitto
12 medjool dates, pitted
12 slices of proscuitto
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes (smoked or regular) (you might need a little more or less)
1. Wrap each date with a slice of proscuitto and place it over the prepared slice of sweet potato. Sprinkle a little maldon sea salt flakes over the proscuitto wrapped date. Prepare the rest of the slices similarly. Bake in the preheated oven for at least 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Serve warm.
Note: This post was sponsored by Dark Horse Wine. All opinions stated here are purely my own.