Monday, November 15, 2010

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Chili Dressing

Oh my gosh, I haven't blogged in 10 days, and it has been the most freeing experience. I'm some times surprised at how much time it takes to cook, shoot pictures AND blog. It is a bit time consuming especially when you have so many other things to do. A lot more than I would like to admit. Truth be told, I've been really pooped, wiped out, in fact. It all started last weekend when to save money, I decided to dig out a trench 25' long x 1 ' wide x 6" deep. I probably saved $300. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was fun and I surprised myself at how relatively quickly I did it. And I impressed the contractor, no small feat given his perfectionist qualities. So impressed, I helped make and pour concrete. It was fun but also wiped me out. I wish I could say I slept better but I was so tired I couldn't sleep. I didn't hurt myself or anything, and I wasn't particularly sore, but I just haven't been feeling like myself.

So that project took me out. I've been napping throughout the day and eating a lot. I'm now convinced that I can do all sorts of other yard projects, including digging up and putting down pavers. I can't wait.

This hearty savory salad will fill you up and make you wish for more cool fall days.

Time: 45 minutes

4 Servings

- 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large onion, preferably red, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 T minced fresh hot chili, like jalapeno
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained (canned are great!)
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seed and finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 T olive oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes being to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing.

2. Put chilies in blender or mini food processor along with the garlic, like juice, remaining olive oil and sprinkle of slat and pepper. Process until blended.

3 . Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to date .

bon app!

And real quick. I need ideas, big time. Friend getting married Dec. 11. She's asking friends to make appetizers for 15 people. The parameters are 50 pieces, on our own plates, limited prep area, no fridge or oven, finger foods only. Plates, no forks. I have an ice chest to potentially carry food. Food will be traveling 50 miles and will be on the from road and not "fridged" from 1 PM to 4PM when it will be served.

What the heck do I make?


Katerina said...

This roasted salad is beautiful. Try to relax and rest. It will come to you. Regarding the party you can make chick pea kefte (falafel). They are served cold, they do not need oven or fridge and can accompany them with mint flavored yogurt. Yogurt can stand outside of fridge for 3 hours with no problem. Or you can make spanakopita(spinach pie, you can find the recipe in my blog) or tiropita(cheese pie) at your home, cut in small pieces and serve. All of them can stand outside of the fridge up to one day and served at room temperature.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a colorful salad. We love black beans in anything. Funny how attached we can get to an ingredient.


This sounds utterly delicious! LOTS of flavor!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

This sounds wonderful, Nirmala! I love sweet potatoes just as much as I love squash.

What a wonderful idea to have friends help make appetizers. Check out my salmon pinwheels. You could also substitute ham in this recipe too. I think these would fit in your cooler easily.

Foodessa said...

Taking a break from something we enjoy doing is certainly liberating and also tends to bring out the best of our capabilities also for later. unfortunately brought back very painful memories when you spoke of yard work...been there, done that and thank goodness I've moved on. However, with that said...a great satisfaction was had in spades when our yard looked like a botanical garden ;o)

Here's wishing you the health and energy it takes to undergo all your desired projects ;o)

Ciao for now,

Dimah said...

What a delicious combination of ingredients! looks so delicious!

Julie M. said...

Hmm. Maybe some type of dip? Those are always easy, tasty, and travel well. They can be elegant if done right as well.

This salad looks delicious! And nice work on all the manual labor. I'm impressed!

Anu said...

It is so colorful and yummy too..

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your back from your little break! Love your salad, sweet potatoes not only taste good together but also make a beautiful presentation!

Tasha said...

What a yummy combination. And quite pretty too.

I took a little hiatus from blogging when I first found out I was expecting (intitally because I couldn't cook or eat, but then I went a few more weeks because I was just too tired). I will agree it was kind of nice to just being able to cook- without measuring and taking notes- and to just be able to eat when it was ready, no fussing over pictures. But I did miss it too!

Rita said...

I doiscovered and fell in love with black beans last year; now I am in search of good recipes to use them and this one will be going in my files..
You're right blogging is fun, but time consuming and a grat place to meet ogher foodies like me; love you blog.

Joanne said...

I love the dressing on this salad! you must need some serious carb loading after all that strenuous work! This salad looks perfect for that.

nancy at good food matters said...

Delicious Salad---perfect for this time of year. And, brava to you for doing that Very Hard Labor--even though it does feel good to break up a routine (like, not blogging!)

re: there's a very good appetizer that I make w/ Belgian Endive stuffed with apples, scallions,walnuts, goat cheese that can sit out--needs no heating, also no fork. It's pretty, too. See "An Apple Appetizer" on my site.

Stella said...

Me too, Nirmala! I totally love it when I take a break from blogging. Not to say that cravings don't present themselves (smile), but you're right. It is very healthy and 'freeing' as you said.
Oh, and this salad looks so good. I will remember to do this when I have leftover sweet potato or any potato:)

Ameena said...

Blogging does take a ton of time and I had to go from blogging 6 times a week to 2 times. I just couldn't keep up with it!

Appetizers - the only thing that comes to mind is's easy and transportable and you can assemble it on the spot! I also second the falafel idea - brilliant!

Beth said...

I'm so impressed that you helped your contractor! Anything with sweet potatoes has to be great.

El explorador gastronĂ³mico said...

Se ve muy rico! gracias :D

redmenace said...

Color me impressed. You are a strong woman! Good job. And, don't feel one bit bad about taking time off from blogging. It IS time-consuming. Very much so.

The recipe looks great!

Sophie said...

This is my kind of food,..delicious & healthy too!


natural selection said...

Well you have come up with the perfect dish to energize and sustain you through all the hard work! Congrats on the hard labor there is always something to learn and the work is honest. It is definitely the times for us to roll up our sleeves.


Dimah said...

I’ve an award for you (One Lovely Blog Award), Please feel free to drop by and pick it up

Stella said...

Hey! Where is you (smile)?!
Will be back to see if you post soon...

Sam Passos said...

Wowwwwww.... wonderful!!! And I have all those ingredients here in Brazil!!! :) I have to add your blog to my favourities!!! Thank you for sharing those recipes... Big muahhhhhhh from Brazil!!! :)