What is Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes? When I was a kid we had the traditional candied sweet potato casserole topped with even sweeter marshmallows until we graduated to more sophisticated dishes involving things like toasted pecans and balsamic vinegar. Sweet potatoes pack a ton of flavor and nutritional value into their coppery skins, and why wait for Thanksgiving to eat them when they are so versatile? They are delicious just baked and drizzled with some maple syrup and make a luscious fall soup. This time of year everywhere you turn is another offering of a summer, 4th of July, or Fathers’ Day recipe for potato salad using white or Yukon gold potatoes, but I thought a sweet potato salad would be a great option.
I have nothing against white, or yellow potatoes, though lately white potatoes have been getting a bad reputation, while their sweet cousins have been lauded. If you’d like to read about the specific nutritional differences this is a helpful piece. Not surprisingly sweet potatoes are higher in sugars, but lower in calories. From there it gets complicated, in terms of resistant starch, glycemic indices, and retrograde starch, so I leave that to more scientific minds than mine. My take-away is that unless you deep fry them, and/or heap them with ketchup, butter, cheese, sour cream and bacon all potatoes are a healthy food choice.
For my salad I wanted something a bit Asian flavored, that would be a great accompaniment for barbecued pork or chicken. There are many different types of sweet potatoes, and despite the fact that the name is often used interchangeably with yams they aren’t the same. For this recipe I chose garnet yams (which is confusing because they aren’t yams, they’re sweet potatoes) for their color, but you can use any variety. I was planning to use baby spinach, but baby kale was on sale so I opted for that, but feel free to use either. This salad turned out even better than I expected, you should make it tonight!
Sweet Potato and Baby Kale Salad
|Prep time||1 hour|
|Cook time||25 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour, 25 minutes|
- 1 Large sweet potato (1 1/2lb.)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4oz baby kale or baby spinach
- 3 scallions (sliced thin)
- 1 bunch Italian parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 cup safflower oil (plus 2 TBL to roast potatoes)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 heaped tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil