Looking for an alternative to the basic potato salad? Or maybe a new Thanksgiving or holiday side dish which doesn’t need to compete for oven time? This cold sweet potato salad is versatile enough to be enjoyed at a picnic in the summer or to take a place on the holiday table. I think that’s the sort of side dish we all need in our lives!
This sweet potato salad is all about my New England roots. In fact, you could call it a New England Harvest Salad! Now, it’s not all sourced locally, since we don’t have lemons growing here. 🙂 But the sweet potatoes and red onions? Bought those at the farmer’s market. The parsley I picked myself just outside my door. New England is known for their maple syrup. I even live in a town with cranberry bogs!
Oh, and the goat cheese?
Now that I’m thinking about local ingredients and cranberry bogs, I’m reminded of the Cranberry Harvest Festival. We’ve been several times and it’s always fun. I hope we can make this year! There are several cranberry harvest festivals in the area, but that one is our favorite.
With all these New England ingredients, it was natural for me to put all these flavors together. 🙂
Growing up, sweet potatoes were eaten in their jackets after being roasted in the oven or microwave. Dotted with some butter or maybe brown sugar. This is totally an excellent way to have a sweet potato, but they are much more versatile than that. You can make Mashed Sweet Potatoes (yum!), or PIE (double yum – I need to share this soon), waffles and pancakes, use them for tempura, whip up a quick bread, simmer a soup, and so much more.
Like cold sweet potato salad!
Tip: If raw onions are a bit too strong for you, try marinating them in the dressing for about 10-15 minutes before pouring the dressing over the sweet potatoes. This will soften their bite.
To cook the sweet potatoes, I prefer to steam them. Steaming keeps their nutrients where they belong and keeps the cubes of potato intact. Sweet potatoes are, in my experience, much more likely to fall apart if you simmer them in water.
And, though my pictures show whole leaves of rosemary, don’t do that. It looks pretty and gives everyone the visual of ‘there is rosemary in there!’ but it can be a bit too much rosemary at once. Parsley is more forgiving. Big leaves, little bits, it’s all good.
-Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Steam the sweet potatoes. Add about 2 inches of water to the bottom of your steamer. When it comes to a boil, add the potatoes to the top and steam for 7-9 minutes. Let the potatoes cool until just warm, about 15 minutes.
Put the potatoes in a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Let the potatoes finish cooling. Add the onion, pecans, cranberries, and goat cheese and mix them in. Sprinkle the rosemary and parsley over the top.
To toast the pecans, bake for 5 minutes at 350F.
The salad is best eaten soon after assembling it. If you want to make it ahead, cook the sweet potatoes and mix them with the dressing. Then prep the rest of the ingredients, but hold them separate, and toss it all together before serving.