Curried Sweet Potato Salad

If traditional Potato Salad was in a midlife crisis and its therapist asked, “What would you be if you could be anything in the world,” it might say “Curried Sweet Potato Salad!” It’s distinctive, daring, and delectable, not to mention, attractive!

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Ingredients
Dressing:
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews (2 ounces)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 medium clove garlic, minced

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves (3 ounces)
1/2 cup raisins (I like golden raisins)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (plus extra for garnish)
2 large ribs celery, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions
1. Place the 5 dressing ingredients into a blender and set aside so that the cashews can soften.

2. In a soup pot, cover the diced sweet potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until potatoes are cooked through but still firm. Drain and rinse with cold water before transferring to a large bowl.

3. Add the spinach, raisins, almonds, celery, and green onions to the bowl of potatoes.

4. Blend the dressing until smooth. Stir the orange zest into the blended dressing (but don’t blend it). Pour the dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly but gently, so as not to overly smash the potatoes. The dressing may look like too much, but it will absorb nicely into the potatoes. I like to serve this right away, while the potatoes are still warm and the dressing is creamy, but you can also refrigerate it for later. Optional: garnish with some sliced almonds.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

NOTES

Potato substitutions: Feel free to use other potato types as well or a mix (yams, Russets, Yukon gold, red). I like to peel my potatoes but leaving the skins on is fine too.

Low-cal dressing: For a lighter dressing, reduce the nuts, or leave them out entirely (and decrease water by 1/4 cup).

Greens variations: If you can’t get your hands on spinach, cooked greens (kale, chard, collards) would also work (you could throw these in with the potatoes toward the end their cooking). Some fresh arugula added in to the salad would also be nice.

Fresh herbs: This salad already has a lot of flavor going on, but feel free to add in some fresh herbs: A 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of chopped basil, parsley or cilantro, or a tablespoon or two of chopped thyme, oregano or tarragon.

Plump your raisins: This is a fine point, but I like to plump my raisins a little before adding them to this salad. It’s not required, but it makes a more refined salad and the raisins get a little sweeter. Just soak the raisins in enough water to cover for 10 to 15 minutes, drain off the water, and add them to the salad. Cranberries would work too, but make sure there is no oil on them.

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Above: Interestingly, sweet potatoes and yams are not related; they are two different species of root vegetable. The orange-reddish “yam” and the golden sweet potato (right) that we find in U.S. grocery stores are actually both varieties of sweet potato, but the orange-red ones were dubbed “yams” to distinguish the two. True yams are native to Africa and Asia (left), and are very starchy with dark brown, tree bark-like skin.

curry-powders

Above: Curry powders are a blend of spices, and come in many varieties. I use a basic yellow curry, such as the one above left, that is mild and sweet since I’m not a fan of super spicy foods. And if you’re serving this salad to a group, I would opt for this milder variety. But if you like it hot and spicy, seek out a curry powder that has more of a kick, like a red Thai curry. You can even make your own curry powder blend; just search “curry powder recipes” online. It’s also fun to visit a spice shop and smell all the different types of curries before choosing.

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Above: This dish is perfect for when you want a different kind of potato dish around the holidays. It’s especially good served right away when it’s still a bit warm.

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much..I am just beginning to think about Tgiving and would love some non oil recipes to begin to experiment with!

  2. Only thing I don’t have is cashews.. Will be buying some to try this recipe! Sounds soooo good….

  3. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it this weekend!!

  4. can i substitute
    something for the orange juice?
    thanks

  5. Another keeper, Cathy! I made this today and ate two helpings. I have a plant-strong potluck to go to later this month and I plan on taking this. Easy to make and not a lot of mess.

    Next time I will plump my raisins like you suggested. My goldens don’t get used as often and tend to harden up a bit.

    I have a question though. I got my curry spice from a local spice store and it is labeled “mild.” I was wondering what you used and if it was spicy at all..

  6. Very nice! A potato salad with a difference. Who knew to use sweet potatoes! Also love that you gave variations at the end too.

  7. Out of the ball park with this recipe Cathy! I had some “yams” from the farmer’s market and subbed out the spinach with kale (put it in the cooking water for the last minute) and it all turned out delicious! I love the fresh OJ with the curry. The almonds and celery add a nice crunch. You have a way with putting together flavors and textures in a very satisfying way. Love it!

  8. I love this one Cathy! It’s my absolute favorite potato salad!

  9. Yummy! I had cabbage on hand, so I used the outer leaves, and put them in with the potatoes…. Wow… this is amazing! Thanks for posting this recipe!

  10. Kris McCormack says:

    Tried this today (2/17/14) with a couple of substitutions, and it was fantastic! Thank you!
    I doubled up on the garlic (2 cloves) in the dressing, and I had a little more orange juice than the recipe specifies — I used what was in the orange I squeezed (about 1/3 cup instead of 1/2). We had no almonds, so I used a mix of walnuts, pignoli, and pecans. No spinach on hand either, so I steamed some kale and used that for the greenery. And, I’m without a zesting tool at the moment, so I just squeezed a little fresh lemon juice into the salad.

    It’s a great recipe. Thank you again for all that you do to help people eat well and healthily.

    Kris

  11. Just made the salad for lunch, and it is deliciouuuuussss! Thanks a lot for sharing your recipes. Will you be making recipes videos in the future? Personally I found it easier to follow and see the “big picture” of the recipe.
    Thanks again.

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