This Sweet Potato and Candied Pecans Bruschetta recipe is packed with flavor, color and texture. You can make the sweet potatoes and candied pecans ahead of time, and simply toast the bread and assemble the bruschetta before serving.
One of my favorite antipastos whenever we eat at an Italian restaurant is bruschetta. It’s so simple, yet so delicious. And every time I have taken a bite into one, I’m inspired to develop a brunch bruschetta recipe. It would have to be packed with flavor, use few ingredients, and have a hint of sweetness because that’s how I like my brunches!
One of my New Year’s resolution is to turn these ideas that I have into actual recipes. First up from my thought experiment is this Sweet Potato and Candied Pecans Bruschetta recipe. This recipe checks all the boxes one would normally expect from a bruschetta serving: colorful, textured, not too heavy, and of course, tasty.
There’s no better contrast in colors than orange sweet potatoes and a sprig of green rosemary against a stark white ricotta cheese spread. For texture, between the grilled slice of bread and candied pecans, there is a nice crunch with each bite while the ricotta cheese spread offers a smooth eating experience. And finally, the sweet potatoes and candied pecans enhance each other’s sweetness and is balanced against the taste of grilled bread and ricotta cheese so no one flavor is overpowering.
So next time, when you’re in the mood for having an Italian-style brunch, try this Sweet Potato and Candied Pecans Bruschetta recipe. If you have any leftovers, it works also as a lunch or dinner appetizer too!
Sweet Potato and Candied Pecans Bruschetta
For the sweet potatoes
- 2 sweet potatoes - peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch (1 1/2-cm pieces)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (18 grams)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (15 milliliters)
For the candied pecans
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (15 grams)
- 1 cup pecan halves (100 grams)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (25 grams)
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 loaf bread
- olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta (225 grams)
- sprigs of fresh rosemary
Roast the sweet potatoes
Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Line a baking sheet with foil.
In a medium bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, maple syrup and olive oil. Spread the sweet potatoes evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until softened.
Prepare the candied pecans
In the meantime, line a dinner plate with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, water, vanilla extract and salt. Set aside.
In a small frying pan on medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the pecans and toast, stirring constantly, until the pecans and butter just start to brown. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the pecans, and toast, stirring constantly, for an additional 45 seconds. Remove from heat and cool on the parchment paper, separating the pecans so they don't stick to one another.
Preheat the broiler in the oven. Slice the loaf of bread into appetizer size pieces, or if you prefer, keep the slices larger. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on one side of each slice of bread. Broil the bread in the oven (or use a toaster oven) until the tops are just toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Spread on a a thin layer of ricotta cheese. Top with the roasted sweet potatoes and candied pecans. Garnish each with a few rosemary leaves.
You can make these into appetizer portions (finger foods), or serve them as larger slices of toast (fork and knife).
You can also make the sweet potatoes and candied pecans ahead of time. Assemble the bruschetta just before serving.
Candied pecans adapted from Two Healthy Kitchens.