Thursday, April 19, 2012

Charred Sweet Potato Salad with Cilantro + Lime

I HEART GRILLING SEASON. When the weather is warm and the grill is fired up, I can leave the meat duty to Mark and all I have to do is mix up a creative salad or side dish. Done and done.

When I told y'all just last Monday that we eat sweet potatoes as a dinner side at least once a week, I wasn't kidding. We eat them every which way and just a few days ago, I remixed our orange, vitamin-rich friends even more. It wasn't until my recent mashed sweet potato adventure that I realized just how well sweet potatoes pair with cilantro. It just makes for a beautiful food friendship and now I want more.

I started by pan roasting diced sweet potatoes, making sure they got nice and charred, caramelizing the natural sugars. I added fresh sweet bell peppers, a jalapeno, some green onions and a simple dressing. It's an easy little salad that adds a ton of color and flavor on your dinner plate. Heck, it's scrumptious enough to bring to your next al fresco dinner with friends. Boom.

Charred Sweet Potato Salad with Cilantro + Lime

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into large chunks
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped into large chunks
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
Drizzle of olive oil, plus a drizzle for the roasting pan
Salt + pepper

Start by pan-roasting the sweet potatoes on medium-high heat. Drizzle with olive oil, season with a little pepper (add salt at the END). The less you toss the potatoes, the more they will char. The smokey flavor adds to the dish but if you prefer less charring, toss the potatoes often. This will take about 15-20 minutes- the potatoes should be cooked, but not mushy, and of course, crispy. The sweet potatoes can also be roasted in the oven if you choose.

While the potatoes are roasting, cut up the bell peppers, jalapeno, scallions and cilantro.

When the potatoes are done take them off of the burner, allowing them to cool for about five minutes. Toss them in the salad bowl with the rest of their friends. Finish with lime juice and a quick drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt & pepper if needed.

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