Sweet Potato Salad

 

Sweet Potato Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad, Starter, Entree
 
This salad is both simple and delicious and it is always a hit when we take it to dinner parties and BBQs. The basil pesto is a key ingredient here so why not have a crack at making it yourself? We like this one from Tenina (you can make it in a food processor or blender too). If you'd rather not or you're pressed for time a quality store bought pesto works really well. Just choose one with as little, real ingredients as possible (preferably without industrialised seed oils). Your taste buds will thank you. The quantities are really just a guide as we never measure ingredients when making this salad. Just have a taste and add more of any ingredient as you go. We've also included some variations (see the notes) so you can change the salad up a bit and so you can make it to suit your dietary needs. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium to large sweet potato - peeled and chopped into approximately 2 cm cubes.
  • 2 cloves of garlic (optional) - skins removed, gently squashed.
  • 2 pinches of salt - we use himalayan salt.
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons of oil - we use macadamia or olive oil.
  • 200 - 300g basil pesto - we like homemade (recipe here) but a good quality bought pesto works well too. Just choose one with as few real ingredients as possible. Your taste buds will thank you.
  • 100 - 200g sun dried or semi sun dried tomatoes - roughly chopped.
  • 100 - 200g good quality Parmesan cheese - flaked with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 generous handfuls of baby spinach - roughly chopped
  • 50 - 100g pine nuts - toasted
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Peel and chop the sweet potato into roughly 2cm sized cubes. They can be smaller or larger but just adjust the cooking time to suit.
  3. Peel the cloves of garlic and squash them gently with the side of your knife (keep your hands flat, use the heal of your hand and keep your fingers up and away from the edge).
  4. Add the sweet potato and garlic to a roasting tray and drizzle them with oil. Stir them gently to coat them in oil, adding more oil if necessary.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Cook for approximately 20 - 30 minutes, until the sweet potato is soft but still holds it's shape (test with a skewer or knife).
  7. Whilst the sweet potato is cooking make a batch of basil pesto. We like this recipe. Set aside.
  8. Roughly chop the sun dried tomatoes and set aside.
  9. Roughly chop 2 generous handfuls of baby spinach and set aside.
  10. Add pine nuts to a small saucepan and cook over a low heat until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  11. Once the sweet potato is cooked let it cool at little. You can remove the garlic if you like but we tend to leave it in.
  12. Whilst it is still warm add the pesto and gently mix through. The pesto mixes through much more easily if the sweet potato is still warm, but don't fuss if it has cooled completely. If the pesto is a little too thick simply mix through a little oil before you add it to the sweet potato.
  13. Now let the sweet potato and pesto mix cool completely.
  14. Once cooled, add the chopped sun dried tomato, chopped baby spinach, and using a vegetable peeler, add lovely big flakes of Parmesan Cheese.
  15. Gently mix them through, being careful not to mash the sweet potato as you go.
  16. Just before serving add the pine nuts so they stay crunchy. You can either sprinkle them on top or mix them through.
Notes
Use different cheeses - we've tried goats cheese and fetta and both are lovely.
Use different nuts - we've tried macadamias, pecans, cashews and walnuts and all are lovely.
Nut free - leave out the nuts and add sunflower seeds or pepitas.
For the paleo or Whole30 folk - leave out the cheese and add nutritional yeast flakes if you like and make a pesto without the cheese.

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About Tash

Forensic Technologist that loves animals and food :-)
Passionate about cooking, animal welfare, food and animal photography and the environment.

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