When heading to a dinner party, I always opt to bring a healthy, hearty dish, something that will change everyone's perspective on what "health" food actually tastes like. I recently was cooking for a table of guests with dietary restrictions ranging from Paleo to gluten-free and all the way to vegan. It seemed like a recipe for disaster, but instead, my cookbook research brought me to the perfect salad to please everyone's (picky) palates: food journalist Mark Bittman's spicy sweet potato salad.
High-fiber sweet potatoes can regulate blood sugar and help you lose weight, while a spicy antioxidant-rich red pepper and jalapeño dressing ties everything together. Be prepared: everyone will be asking you for this recipe, so leave a lunch-sized portion at home. This easily portable salad is even more delicious the next day.
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup sliced scallion
- 1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
- 1 or 2 fresh minced chiles (jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero), or to taste
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces. Put them on a baking sheet, drizzle with two tablespoons of the oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 minutes. Remove and keep on the pan until ready to dress.
- Make the dressing while the potatoes cook. Put the remaining six tablespoons of oil in a blender, along with the vinegar, bell pepper, cumin, and zest if you're using it. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Purée until smooth.
- Toss the warm potatoes with the scallion, mint, chiles, and raisins if you're using them. Add 1/2 cup of the dressing, and toss to coat, adding more if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
- Side Dishes, Potato
- 4-6 servings
- Cook Time
- About 45 minutes
- Calories per serving