Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Anna's Sweet Potato Salad with Pecans & Ginger






Fat free and cholesterol free, Sweet Potatoes are among the most nutritious foods in the vegetable kingdom. A rich source of dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimal health, this orange skinned tuberous root with starchy sweet flesh becomes the base for a delicious summer salad. Roasted sweet potatoes, still hot from the oven, are mixed with a medley of diced spring onions, parsley, cilantro, chilli flakes and toasted pecans, then tossed with a fragrant vinaigrette of olive oil, maple syrup, sherry wine vinegar, citrus juice, fresh grated ginger and ground cinnamon. Vibrant, tangy and wonderfully full flavoured, Anna — my new sister-in-law — surprised us with this healthy and delicious Ottolenghi-inspired salad this past weekend, and received culinary kudos from the whole family!




Anna's Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Pecans & Ginger
Serves 4
Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi

2 sweet potatoes, about 2-pounds
3 tbsp olive oil
3 oz pecan nuts
4 spring onions, diced
4 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
salt and pepper

Vinaigrette:
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp good quality maple syrup
1 tbsp sherry wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Start with the sweet potatoes. Don’t peel them! Cut them into 1/2-inch cubes, spread them out on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, mix well with your hands and then roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until just tender. Turn them over gently half way through cooking.

In a separate baking tray, toast the pecans for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop roughly. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the spring onions, parsley, coriander, chilli and pecans. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss gently to blend, then season to taste. Serve at once or at room temperature.