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Sweet potato, goats cheese, ginger and spinach canapes

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Wow, I can’t believe Christmas is over, all done for another year. To me Christmas always feels a bit like your wedding ceremony – you have this long build up, then an amazing day (hopefully) but when you wake up the next morning it’s all over. At least with Christmas the fridge is stuffed with cold turkey and left over goodies. Those after-Christmas turkey sandwiches with all the trimmings are simply the best. Bread sauce is a key ingredient, along with cranberry of course. If there are left over roast parsnips I feel really lucky, but that is a rare occurrence in my house.

We had a lovely Christmas and I hope you did too. Lots of good food, enough but not too much church, and JP loved opening all his presents. He is now enjoying playing with them. In a few days we go south to spend time with Dave’s family and it will be great to see them and for JP to be with some of his cousins. Dave is off to the Lake District to do some wild camping with friends, but we will all get back together in time for New Year’s Eve.
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Christmas and New Year always make me think of delicious canapés served at glittery parties. In fact, there hasn’t been too much glitter this year, more a fun get together with family and friends, age range 26 months to 82-years. I served these sweet potato based canapés and they went down a treat.

These canapés involve roasting sweet potato and then the rest is just construction. Place a piece of sweet potato in a spinach leaf and add a spoonful of goats’ cheese that is just smaller than the potato. Add a small piece of pickled ginger and a pinch of lemon zest. Wrap the spinach leaf around and secure your canapé with a cocktail stick. Quick, simple and delicious. The first flavour is the cheese, with it’s creaminess. Then the sweetness of the potato kicks in, before the tang of the pickled ginger and the lemon zest. The spinach leaf holds it all together and adds it’s lovely colour.
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These canapés are gluten free and vegetarian. If you would prefer a version involving meat have a look here. Or if you don’t want to miss out on smoked salmon, then have a look at my gravlax canapé here.
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Lastly, any goats cheese will do, but don’t include any rind.

Sweet potato, goats cheese, ginger and spinach canapés

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks no larger than 2cm/ ¾” cubes
1 tbsp oil
a large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
32 small spinach leaves
250g goats cheese
6 slices of pickled ginger, normally sold for sushi, sliced into 6 equal pieces
2 lemons, rind of
32 cocktail sticks

Makes 32 canapés
Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cooking time – 20 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/395°F/Gas mark 6. Put the sweet potato into a small roasting tin and cover with the oil and salt and pepper, mix well with your hands. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked.
2. Let the sweet potato cool for 10 minutes or so, until it’s warm but not hot.
3. Take a spinach leaf and place a chunk of sweet potato in it, add a similar sized piece of goats cheese. Top with a small piece of pickled ginger and a little sprinkling of lemon rind. Use a cocktail stick to hold the canapé together as shown in the photos.

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