I am nothing if not ambitious and filled with unbridled enthusiasm. Or maybe, the cries of a 2 and a 4-year-old locked in armed combat have something to do with my ordering SEVEN purple sweet potatoes from my online co-op. Imagine my surprise when I picked up my box….at least I also ordered a loaf of bread and some kale so the people didn’t look at me too funny.
Really, take one look at the psychedelic purple-fleshed sweet potatoes and give me good reason to disprove their extraterrestrial origins. After my initial shock, the artistically gustatory potential of these tubers exploded in chromatic splendor in my brain. Potato hash, mash and fries will never be the same. It could be otherworldly spores have infiltrated my brain with the alien’s evil plan to populate our planet. Six of the potatoes were consumed. One I planted in the garden with pleasing results. How fun is it that you can plant a sweet potato in the ground and it begins growing sprouts that become lovely, lush vines? I also planted two domestic (grocery purchased, conventionally grown) sweet potatoes at the same time from which I have only one anemic little sprout. I’m telling you….NASA may want to keep an eye out for asteroids shaped like purple sweet potatoes….
In the meantime, as mentioned above, these specimens elevate the everyday starchy side dish to stellar heights. But I wanted an interesting recipe to make the best of these amazing tubers. One quick scan of The Rodale Whole Food Cookbook provided adequate inspiration. Below is my delectable adaptation of the recipe Fingerling Potato Salad with Cider-Caraway Dressing which I call Summery Purple Sweet Potato Salad.
- 4 large purple sweet potatoes (or any other sweet or white potato) cut into 1-inch dice
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 1/3 extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large shallot minced
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ribs celery chopped
- 1/3 chopped flat-leaf parsley
Place a steamer rack in a large pot filled with water just to the bottom of the steamer. Put the potatoes on the rack and steam until tender – 10-15 minutes. When cooked, discard cooking water and put potatoes in a large bowl to cool slightly.
While the potatoes are cooking, put all dressing ingredients in a saucepan. Stir and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
When the potatoes have cooled slightly add the chopped celery and then pour the dressing over. Toss well and let sit for a few minutes to let the potatoes absorb the dressing and then gently stir in the parsley.
I made a lunch of the salad by serving it on a bed of peppery watercress which balanced well with the tart/sweet potatoes. It would be a great side dish with grilled burgers. Serve warm, room temperature or cold while pajama clad standing in front of the open refrigerator door. ¡Viva la Revolución!