For most of my 30-something years, I was utterly devoted to a single way of eating sweet potatoes: bake them, top with a generous pat of butter, and sprinkle a little brown sugar. But once I tried this recipe for Moroccan-style sweet potato salad, I have never once gone back.
This dish is not only healthier, but a lot more flavorful, and it can prepared well-ahead of time and in large quantities to take to potlucks (where it has been devoured every time). It also makes great leftovers and lunch-box meals. When I make it for dinner, I usually serve it with cinnamon-flavored pork chops, and couscous with caramelized onions and cinnamon-sock golden raisins.
Moroccan-style Sweet Potato Salad
- 4 large sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- a pinch of saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger root
- a dash of ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Heat the oven to 375-degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large 2-inch cubes. Toss generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Spread out the potatoes on a large baking sheet (or two) so that the cubes are not touching much. Bake until done (about 20 minutes), or until they are just crispy on the corners and cooked all the way through. Remove front he oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, make the marinade by whisking together the 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the saffron, ginger, cumin, and lemon juice. When potatoes are room temperature, toss them with the marinade, then add the chopped herbs and toss again. Serve at room temperature, or even slightly chilled (on a hot day). Keeps about 3 days.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe that originally appeared in The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.