Saturday, August 27, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Red Bell Pepper

I recently made this roasted sweet potato salad and fell in love.  I feel like I've turned over a new leaf in salads-- why haven't I swapped out sweet potatoes for potatoes before?  It adds so much more flavor!  Seriously,  this was one of the best things I've eaten in awhile.  If you're like me, and not a huge fan of the "over-mayonnaised" salads that go along with summer BBQ's you will love this too.  It was so colorful--orange from the sweet potatoes, red from the peppers, green from the jalapenos, onions, and cilantro, and purple from the shallots.  Roasting the sweet potatoes brought out their natural sweetness and the mirin further enhanced that. Finally, the rest of the vegetables are lightly sauteed to soften them slightly and take away any harsh bite while still leaving plenty of good crunch.

If you're headed to a party or BBQ for the Labor Day weekend this would be a great option. This salad feels very transitional to me, perfect for the time of year-- the colors and use of sweet potatoes say that fall is coming, but it's served as a salad which keeps this from being too heavy a dish for the warm weather.  Everyone enjoy, and if you are riding out Hurricane Irene this weekend, stay safe!

(Serves 8)
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
3 3/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 3/4- inch cubes
5 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2/3 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 3 large)
1 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbs. mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)*
4 large green onions, chopped
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

*Mirin can be found in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets or at Japanese markets.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.  Toss potatoes with 3 tbs. oil in a large bowl; divide between 2 sheets.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast 10 minutes.  Reverse sheets and roast until potatoes are tender and browned, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add shallots and saute 3 minutes.  Add bell pepper and jalapeno; saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add mirin; simmer 1 minute.  Mix in green onions and stir 15 seconds. Scrape mixture over potatoes and lightly toss.  Mix in cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Bon Apetit, May 2009


  1. How fantastically tasty and colorful does this dish look! I'm making it tomorrow for a brunch I'm attending!

  2. I really wish I had some sweet potatoes right now! This dish looks so full of flavor & the colors are fantastic!!

  3. I love sweet potatoes; once you go orange it's hard to go back :D Beautiful looking salad.

  4. The sweet potato and onion sound so good together. We eat sweet potatoes a lot...thanks for a new recipe!

  5. I didn't even really use sweet potatoes until a few years ago, and now I can't get enough of them! This salad looks fantastic!

  6. This looks so good and colorful, Ryan! I finally started switching up sweet potatoes with regular potato fries that you bake in the oven and I am so glad my family likes them that way. I am sure we would enjoy this salad. The bell peppers are in season right now. I bought a few the other day - one of each color.

  7. Love the vibrant colors!

  8. Sweet potatoes and red peppers are two of my favourite things to eat. I have always thought that roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes and butternut taste their best at that "just" warm room temperature than hot or cold. And you're so right - the colours are very reminiscent of fall.

  9. What a stunning salad!!! Healthy and delicious and beautiful...can't beat that~

  10. Ryan, this recipe is printing out as I type. Such a beautiful and healthy alternative to regular potato salad.

    Thanks for your well wishes for our son and his wife. They are fine and had minimal residuals from "Irene". I don't know if they were able to get to their jobs this morning.

    Hope your power is back on and you didn't have much damage. I heard something about concern for Williamsburg but nothing else. Haven't heard from my niece in Richmond but think all is well with them.


  11. Super healthy and looks and sounds super delicious too. I'm all in!

  12. I buy sweet potatoes but often let them go bad in the veggie basket. I've no excuse now. Love this salad, Ryan!

  13. Oh yum....I love salads that don't lean in the mayo direction. Colorful and oh so tasty.

  14. Ryan, Beautiful salad and healthy too! It looks sweet potatoes. Hope you weathered the storm with out much damage...we had lost power for about 20 hours. Not too bad, considering all the destruction Irene left behind.

  15. Such a beautiful, colorful dish! I just had to come over after seeing your terrific guest post on Cassie's blog.....See you again soon!

  16. I love sweet potatoes and this looks really delicious! Great veggies to go with BBQ!

  17. This looks like such a wonderful salad. I will probably eat anything if it has sweet potatoes in it!! I will have to try this one out for sure.


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