Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sweet Potato Salad

When I stopped eating the nightshade family; (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) I had cravings and felt pangs of deprivation for 'potato salad'! I had to find a substitute and began to experiment with sweet potatoes. They are available in a variety of colors and textures and are very different from a white potato... some are white fleshed with a dry texture, some are brilliant orange and moist.  

Erroneously we call the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes yams. A little history lesson... several decades ago when orange-fleshed sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern US, producers and shippers called them 'yams' to distinguish them from the traditional white-fleshed type. This was the English version of the African word 'nyami', referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants. Which is why most people still think of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes as yams regardless of their true identity!!  
For more information on Sweet Potatoes, including a soup recipe, visit my previous post from last January, where I discussed this topic at length in 'Sweet Potato or Yam'
Whether are traveling for the Victoria Day long weekend or hosting a backyard pot luck, this salad is a safe bet with an oil and vinegar dressing rather than mayonnaise.

SWEET POTATO SALAD            Yield: 4-6 servings
For those of us who avoid night shades, this salad is delicious served warm or cold! 

2 lb. orange sweet potatoes
Sweet Potato Salad ~ delicious warm or cold!

1 sweet onion, red or white
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecans; roasted and coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. cooking Sherry
1/3 cup grape seed oil
1-1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Toast pecans on a bake sheet with shallow sides at 350F for 3-5 minutes, Remove from oven, transfer to a plate and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425F and lightly oil the bake sheet, set aside. Peel and wash sweet potatoes, dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Peel onion and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss diced sweet potato and onion in a large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place on prepared bake sheet and spread out into a single layer. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring once.
While the sweet potatoes cook, prepare the dressing. Whisk together Dijon, wine vinegar and cooking Sherry. Pour grape seed oil slowly in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Stir in minced parsley.
When the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, but not mushy, transfer to a bowl. Gently mix in toasted pecans. Add dressing and gently toss to coat. Serve warm or cold. Store tightly covered in the fridge.

Till next time... enjoy a safe, Victoria Day weekend and Bon App├ętit!  

Photo by Sally Rae
Recipe collaboration with Elizabeth Williams

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