ROASTED SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH RED PEPPER VINAIGRETTE
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Here is another potato-vinaigrette combo: The red pepper dressing is tart, sweet, and spicy, with a touch of cumin. This is best served warm or at room temperature, though of course you can refrigerate and serve it up to a day later, as long as you take it out of the refrigerator beforehand to take the chill off.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: about 45 minutes
• 4 large sweet potatoes
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
• 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (optional)
• 1/2 cup sliced scallion
• 1/2 cup minced fresh mint or parsley leaves
• 1 or 2 fresh minced chiles (jalapeno, Thai, serrano, or habanero), or to taste
• 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Put them on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 minutes. Remove and keep on the pan until ready to dress.
2. Make the dressing while the potatoes cook. Put the remaining 6 tablespoons oil in a blender, along with the vinegar, bell pepper, cumin, and zest if you're using it. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
3. Toss the warm potatoes with the scallion, mint, chiles, and raisins if you're using them. Add 1/2 cup of the dressing and toss to coat, adding more if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately or at room temperature.