For a lighter, modern twist on sweet potato casserole, layers of thin sweet potato slices are baked with bold spices, fresh lime and topped with a blend of cheeses and pumpkin seeds.This savory sweet potato gratin is tasty and beautiful on any holiday table or serve anytime as a healthy side dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, lime juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and chili.
Peel the potatoes if you like — I often just scrape off any bruised sections, leaving most of the skin on. Slice the potatoes into 1/8-inch thick rounds, using a mandoline, or use a very sharp knife and great knife skills :)
Toss the sweet potatoes in the bowl to coat with the spiced oil. Arrange the potatoes upright in a 2-quart baking dish with the edges face-up, pouring the liquid from the bowl over all. Grind black pepper over the top to taste.
Bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top and return to the oven for 10 more minutes, until the cheese is softened and melting.
Sprinkle the cilantro and pumpkin seeds over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To make the gratin ahead, bake 45 minutes then cool, cover and refrigerate or freeze. When ready to serve, top with the cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.