Ah, it’s finally beginning to feel like Spring. Even though it’s fairly likely that we’ll see snow again before (or even after) the season changes, it’s been sunny for the past week or so; therefore, desperate to welcome any shred of nice weather, I’ve found myself craving warm flavours. Enter this spicy sweet potato dish.
When I roast sweet potatoes, I don’t want to sweeten them one bit. No brown sugar or maple syrup (gasp!) here, no sir; I want to balance them with some fiery spice. I usually accomplish this by serving my simple roasted sweet potatoes with some chipotle mayonnaise for dipping, but this week I created a warm salad that went just as well with our first barbecued burgers of the season. (Oh, charcoal! I missed you dearly.)
I coated chunks of sweet potato with my own mixture of spices (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle, and a bit of cayenne pepper) then roasted them with some red onion and a few smashed cloves of garlic. Once everything was soft and caramelized, I tossed it with a homemade lemon dressing.
I loved this dish! The end result had a good amount of spice that acted as a perfect contrast to the sweet potatoes and the red onions; meanwhile, the mellow, roasted garlic was a nutty taste in the background, and the acidic lemon dressing really brightened up the flavour of the salad. I couldn’t be happier; along with the warm(ish) weather we’ve been having lately, this new spicy roasted sweet potato salad is leading me, skipping, to Spring.
Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato Salad: The Recipe
Amanda's notes: There's nothing lacking, but if you'd like to add some cheese to this salad, I think feta or goat cheese would be a great match. Also, if I had had a can of corn on hand, I might have tossed it with the roasted veggies before dressing the salad.
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp spice mixture*
1 red onion, chopped into small wedges
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
lemon dressing* at room temperature, to taste
1 green onion, sliced, to garnish
Preheat oven to 400F.
Toss the sweet potato with the olive oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle with spice mixture, toss to coat. Spread in a roasting pan; add red onion and garlic cloves. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently to coat. Roast for 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, stirring halfway through.
Once the potatoes are tender, transfer the contents of the pan to a bowl. Drizzle with lemon dressing a few tablespoons at a time, tossing to coat, until the vegetables are coated to your liking. Taste and season if necessary. Garnish with green onion. Serve immediately.
Mix the following together:
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chipotle chili powder
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
¾ cup olive oil
1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Whisk first three ingredients together. Season to taste. Store leftovers in an air-tight container, and use as you would any dressing.