When I lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, one of my favourite places to go eat was a Lebanese restuarant that had the most beautiful range of salads. You could have hot or cold, spicy or mild, plant-based or meat-tastic – whatever you fancied, you just grabbed a plate (or tub if you were taking out) and filled it.
I love to experiment with new foods but, if I’m honest, I’m also a creature of habit sometimes. If I find a dish I like, I enjoy it time after time. And my favourite salad from my favourite restaurant? A tangy, sweet, fresh, sweet potato salad. Now, I have tried more than once to recreate the sensational sauce of my foodspiration, but what I’ve ended up with is not quite the same. It is, however, perfectly scrumptious. Scrumptious, healthy, and filling. What more could you want?!
Sweet potatoes (one large potato per person)
Handful of walnuts, broken up into small pieces
Raisins, cranberries, or your preferred dried fruit
Mixed seeds (1-2 tbspn, depending on how much crunch you want)
Large handful kale
For the dressing:
1 tbspn olive oil
1 tbspn spple cider vinegar
1/2 tbspn maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/4 tspn cumin (or more to taste)
Sweet Potato Salad
This is a versatile salad that can be enjoyed warm or cold. It also keeps great in the fridge and is even more flavorsome the next day. The tang of the apple cider vinegar, combined with the sweetness of the potatoes and maple syrup, makes for fresh taste sensation. And with superfood ingredients like kale and apple cider vinegar (be sure to get ‘with the mother’ for optimum health benefits), it’s not only refreshing for your taste buds, but for your body too. Win win!
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main
- Begin by preparing the sweet potatoes. Peel and chop into small pieces. I like to boil them first before roasting (I can’t stand hard potatoes!) but you can whack ‘em straight into the oven if you want to skip the pre-boiling. Drizzle the sweet potato chunks with olive oil, then top with salt and pepper. Roast at Gas Mark 5 for about 20 minutes or until soft and just beginning to brown or blacken.
- While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the kale by washing and massaging. Yes, massaging. Which is basically a fancy way of saying ‘squeeze it a bit’. I like kale raw, but if you prefer it cooked a little just wilt in a pan over a low heat – just be careful not to cook it too much, as it will lose it’s goodness.
- In a large bowl, toss the handful of broken walnuts, a handful of your chosen dried fruit, and the kale. Add in the roasted sweet potatoes.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Toss this over the sweet potato mix and incorporate.
- Throw on those mixed seeds at the end, and enjoy warm or cold. This is one of those dishes you can pop in the fridge and it’ll taste even better the next day.
Be sure to share how you find this recipe in the comments below…