I have always loved sweet potatoes. The affair began when I was young, during every Thanksgiving when mom would make her candied yams. While I'm sure six-year-old Liz only really loved the gooey marshmallow and toasted coconut topping, I now do love the mushy, bright orange underneath too. I love them mushed, roasted, baked and made into fries. And I do remember one pop-up video (remember pop up video?) that boasted that eating sweet potatoes increased your chance of having twins. I've always wanted twins...
Anyways, when I lived in McAllen, I made another sweet potato salad about once a week for over a month. That recipe, roasted sweet potatoes with black beans and chili dressing, came from a NYT article and has been safely pasted in my big green cookbook for awhile. And now it is not as lonely on the page, as I wasted no time snipping this recipe out of my October issue of Cooking Light and into my cookbook.
And you know what is truly awesome? And I really just realized it as I was looking up a link for the sweet potato and black bean salad. They're both came from the same person. No shit. I wouldn't make something like that up. Both recipes accompanied articles aimed at easing the transistion from lovely and bright summer salads to meaty, yet equally bright, fall salads. Both written by Mark Bittman, the New York Times famed Minimalist columnist, and a man who obviously likes his sweet potato salads roasted and delicious. And some how, even though they were published 2 years apart in 2 very different places, these recipes have ended up co-inhabiting the same page of my big green cookbook. It's a little crazy, and a whole lot of awesome.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Chipotle Dressing
Adapted from October 2011 Cooking Light
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
3/4 c. fresh cranberries
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. minced chipotle in adobo sauce
1/4 c. cashews, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 2-inch pieces.
On jelly roll plan, spread out sweet potatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, turning potatoes every 10 minutes.
While sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare dressing. In small sauce pan over medium low heat, combine remaining tablespoon of olive oil, cranberries, water, honey and chipotle chilies. Mix together and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and stir until all cranberries have popped and sauce is right consistency.
In large bowl, combine roasted potatoes, chopped cashews, onions and cilantro. Pour dressing over top and toss gently to coat. Serve warm.
Note: Mr. Bittman suggested toasted and chopped pumpkin seeds instead of cashews. Since I was fresh out of those buggers, I decided to go with cashews over pecans or almonds. I thought the saltiness would substitute well for pumpkin seeds. I was a fan!