Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Salad

Went for a long ride out to Key Biscayne, about 45 miles total, on Saturday with Emerge (a Miami cycling group) and we had a picnic so I made this salad to take. Everyone loved the taste of sweet and tangy, and the sweet potatoes were the perfect vehicle for the flavors. I made it the night before because I wanted it to chill and marinate, but you could probably make it just a few hours ahead of time too.

The original recipe called for boiling the sweet potatoes, but I baked them instead because I have tried that before. Word to the wise: boiled sweet potatoes are gross. The texture is off and the flavor is weird; overly starchy and still kind of "raw" tasting.

I actually forgot to put in the pecans before I was out the door but am sure they would be a nice addition to the salad.

Sweet Potato Salad (adapted from a Taste of Home recipe)
2 lb. Sweet Potatoes (about 3-4) cubed
1/3 cup dried Cranberries
2-3 tablespoons Orange Juice (use a fresh orange)
1-2 teaspoons Orange Peel
3 Celery Stalks diced
1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2-3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Pecans chopped
Note: Spices are approximate - I just sprinkled them on the sweet potatoes
Toss cubed sweet potatoes with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon and bake on a large ungreased pan at 410 degrees (turning over potatoes about 2-3 times so they don't stick) for about 20 minutes or just until the potatoes become slightly soft (not super soft though or they won't hold up in the salad).

Celery and orange peel
While potatoes are cooking mix together orange peel, orange juice, brown sugar, dried cranberries, and celery.

Orange after peel has been grated off
Once potatoes are done toss in with all the other pre-mixed ingredients and add in the mayonnaise. Chill for at least a few hours. Add in the pecans right before serving. Makes about 6 servings as a side dish.

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