This is not your traditional potato salad: It’s distinctive, daring, and delectable, not to mention really pretty! It’s one of my favorite recipes, and it’s a great dish to bring to potlucks or parties; everyone loves it!
- For the salad:
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup sliced almonds (plus extra for garnish)
- 2 ribs celery, sliced (about ¾ cup)
- 4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
- Creamy Curry Dressing:
- ½ cup water
- 2 ounces raw, unsalted cashews (about ½ cup)
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 medium clove garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- To make the dressing, be sure to zest the orange first before juicing it. Set the zest aside.
- Place all of the remaining ingredients (water, cashews, orange juice, curry powder, and garlic) into a blender, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the cashews can soften).
- To make the salad, place the sweet potatoes into a soup pot, and cover them with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife but not falling apart, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water, and set aside.
- Once the potatoes have thoroughly drained, place them into a large bowl, along with the spinach, raisins, almonds, celery, and green onions.
- Blend the dressing ingredients until smooth. Stir the orange zest into the blended dressing with a fork (but don’t blend it). Then stir the dressing into the salad. Serve warm or chilled as is, or topped with sliced almonds, if desired.
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. To read an article about sweet potatoes vs. yams, click here.
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.
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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