Friday, May 23, 2008

Recipe for Tangy Sweet Potato Salad...

I'm sharing this recipe because of a request in the comments below...
This salad is one of those things that came together sort of by itself one day, at lunchtime, when we had leftover sweet potatoes, pickled onions, and cilantro in the fridge. The finished salad looked pretty, and it became a family favorite, so we've made it many times since to eat for lunch or with dinner.

This serves about 4, I think.

2 sweet potatoes, baked til done but not at all mushy (then cooled to room temperature or refrigerated)
1 red onion (for making pickled onions)
distilled white or rice wine vinegar (enough to cover onions for pickling)
sugar (a generous pinch or two or three for pickled onions-- even more if you want them on the sweet side)

1/2 t. dijon mustard
2 T. lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4-1/2 t. salt
3 T. canola oil
honey or agave, optional (to sweeten the vinaigrette)
3-4 T. cilantro, coarsely chopped

Make the pickled onions: You can make as much of this as you want and reserve what you don't use, but you'll need to use at least 1/4 of an onion in the salad. I cut the onion in half, lay the cut side down, and slice the onion fairly thinly. Place onion in bowl, separating pieces. Cover completely with vinegar. Sprinkle in sugar, and mix. Let sit on counter for at least 15 minutes or until onions turn bright pink. These can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Peel (or don't) and cut cooked, cooled sweet potatoes into smallish, bite-size chunks. Place in medium-size bowl. (I often bake extra sweet potatoes when we're having them for dinner so I can use them for salad the next day, or I bake them in the morning on the day I want to make salad, and then I refrigerate them til ready to use later.)

Coarsely chop the pickled onions and place them in the bowl with the sweet potatoes. I'm not sure exactly how much onion goes into this. (Just so it looks close to the photo, or whatever you want.) It's fine to have the pickled onions dripping with juice when you add them to the bowl with the potatoes. Sprinkle the cilantro over this.

Mix the vinaigrette: Using a fork, dip out about 1/2 t. dijon mustard from its jar. Put the mustard in a small bowl. Add lime juice and garlic, and whisk with the fork. Drizzle in the canola oil while continuing to whisk. Season with salt. (At this point you can sweeten the vinaigrette with honey, or preferably agave, if you'd like, depending on how much tang you like in a salad.) :-) The sweet potatoes themselves add a good amount of sweetness to the salad, but you might want more. Sometimes I sweeten the vinaigrette and sometimes I don't.)

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well, but gently, so as not to mash the potatoes any more than is necessary. Now it's ready to eat!