Roasted Sweet Potato Salad Recipe
For your next meatless meal try this sweet potato salad recipe or hockey pucks as my son calls the rounds. Cut them round, square, lengthwise or simply nice and fat. These oven roasted steaks are enhanced by your choice of toppings. You can be as creative or plain as you want but this recipe strives for different levels of flavor and textures.
Back in the day when I was about 9 years old, my mom “got her hustle on” selling designer jeans from a van in a parking lot adjacent to a few neighborhood businesses. One of those businesses was Mrs. Washington’s BBQ. I’d make the walk from school or home in order to hang out with her. During slow days, especially on a hot Texas day, we’d take breaks inside the restaurant. After a while, Mrs. Washington put me to work. I guess it made sense given how many “complimentary” BBQ sausage sandwiches I ate there. Mrs. Washington was your quintessential affable cafeteria lady type who had long worked as a domestic before becoming an entrepreneur an opening her BBQ joint. She was slightly older than my grandmother and of similar gentle disposition. She called me “sweetie” all the time and because of her, I judge any “down home” type establishments by the vernacular of the wait staff. If they use words like sugar, sweetie, honey ahh that place is gold in my mind! I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my mom, the BBQ joint, and being around Mrs. Washington. Aretha Franklin got heavy rotation on the jukebox during those days.
Anyway one of my early jobs in the kitchen was to dress the super large baked potatoes. These were spaghetti squash size potatoes that were then stuffed with your choice of butter, cheese, sour cream, beef brisket, peppers, BBQ sauce,and bacon. I loved it when customers asked for it “fully loaded” as I took great pride sculpting my potatoes. I’d take a fork and jab the spud’s flesh a few times to break it up and make room for the “fixins”. Lead with butter to let it melt and soak the potato, then cheese, brisket, sour cream, peppers, and chives finished with bbq sauce! I modeled my spuds after an ice cream sundae from Dairy Queen.
I had my BBQ baked potato apprenticeship in mind with this sweet potato salad recipe. Whereas Mrs. Washington’s spuds were heavy-handed and sluggish like a slow methodical heavyweight boxer ala George Foreman.Â I wanted Muhammad Ali, lighter, complex, with many personalities and a style that was more art than sport. So toppings for the sweet potato steak included goat cheese, wine soaked cranberries, chili powder, and pistachios. The goat cheese and pistachios provide a savory saltiness that is a good contrast to the sweet potato. The cranberries add both tanginess and chewiness while the wine provides a unique mouth experience. The pistachios provide that crunchy texture. For fun and to round out the dish I added a pomegranate syrup as an ode to that strawberry sundae with extra nuts and syrup I used to order at the aforementioned Dairy Queen.
Feel free to top your salad with other toppings. I’ve used kale strips, almonds, pecans, molasses, etc.
Dope beats, fresh eats. Enjoy this roasted sweet potato salad recipe for a nice vegetarian main dish. Feel free to forgo the goat cheese for a fully vegan version of the recipe.
Sweet Potato Steak Ingredients
- 1 largeÂ sweet potato peeled
- 1 tablespoonÂ olive oil
- 1/4Â teaspoonÂ ground chili powderÂ optional
- 1/8Â teaspoonÂ fine grain sea salt
- Goat cheese optional
- 1 cup wine soaked dried cranberries optional
- 1 tablespoon Pistachios optional
- Homemade Pomegranate Syrup optional
Wine Soaked Cranberries Ingredients
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Pomegranate Syrup Ingredients
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
Pomegranate Syrup Instructions
- In a small sauce pot, whisk together sugars and cornstarch until incorporated well. Pour in the pomegranate juice, while whisking. Bring the mixture to boil on medium high and lower the heat to medium. Cook the mixture until thickens, whisk frequently. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Wine Soaked Cranberries Instructions
- Put the raisins in a jar.Â Bring the wine to a boil in a small saucepan.Â Pour over the raisins and let cool to room temperature.Â Let stand for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Sweet Potato Steak Instructions
- Adjust your ovenâ€™s cooking rack to the middle placement and preheat to 425F.â€¨â€¨Slice the sweet potatoes into Â½-inch rounds. Place rounds on a roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
- Brush each sweet potato slice with oil and sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Flip slices over and repeat.
- Place pan in oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the pan and carefully flip the rounds with a spatula.
- Return to the oven and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes until golden and caramelized.
- Serve rounds plain or with your favorite toppings.