Many of us grew up on that whipped sweet potato casserole with maple syrup and marshmallows on top. You know, the one that appeared year after year on the Thanksgiving table?
Why? I always wondered, even as a kid with a kid’s sweet tooth. Sweet potatoes are sweet. In my mind, they don’t need more sugar. Plus they are versatile in entrees, sides, salads, and desserts, and they’re full of good nutrition. I highly recommend reintroducing them to your Thanksgiving table, but in a different form. Thankfully, there are lots of options out there that don’t involve marshmallows. Try the salad recipe below or check out this link from The Atlantic for nine great recipes to get you started on a sweet potato odyssey.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Herbed Vinaigrette
4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch watercress or arugula
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into eighths, lengthwise, so you end up with triangular shaped wedges. Cut each wedge crosswise into bite-sized triangles about 1/4 inch thick. Toss with olive oil and salt, transfer to a baking sheet, and roast in a single layer for about 20 minutes (or until soft and beginning to caramelize), stopping after 10 minutes to flip the pieces over gently with a wide spatula. Cool slightly and transfer to a bowl.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the shallot, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continually, until the dressing comes together. Whisk in the chopped herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the desired amount of dressing over the sweet potatoes, add the watercress or arugula, the dried cranberries and the toasted nuts. Toss and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.