Try this sweet potato salad recipe with crisp apples or yummy avocados, smoky potatoes, toasty nuts and fresh, earthy arugula, this salad packs all the tastes of fall.
This salad can be adapted differently with every meal. Swap out sweet apples for savory bacon bits and add greens for a protein filled dinner salad, or take out the grains and sweet notes for a spicy side with kale, green pepper and shallots as a side for chicken. You can even add a hearty, soul food twist with chopped eggs, bacon, cheese and creamy mayonnaise instead of the apple cider vinegar dressing, served with mac and cheese.
1. 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes diced into cubes.
2. Seasonings and oil: Olive oil seasoned with ground cinnamon, a dash of cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
3. Fresh arugula: The peppery tones of arugula pairs perfectly with the sweet notes in this salad.
4. Apples for a fresh summery feel, or avocado for a deeper, fall taste.
5. Goat cheese, but you can substitute this for feta.
6. Sunflower seeds: toasted pecans, or walnuts would also work!
7. Dried, unsweetened cranberries or raisins for more sweetness.
8. Apple cider vinaigrette for dressing
Apple cider vinaigrette ingredients:
1. Mild-flavored oil like olive oil, filtered coconut or avocado oil
2. Add acidity with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or red wine vinegar
3. 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
4. Dijon mustard or honey mustard as a stabilizer
5. A pinch of salt and pepper to season the dressing and balance the other flavors.
6. Balance the measurements by tasting your dressing as you add. As a rule of thumb, 2 parts mustard to one part ACV and 1 part oil works, but many cooks have their own proportions.
How to assemble the salad:
1. Wash sweet potatoes first, then cut them into cubes. You can leave the skin on, but some people prefer their potatoes peeled. Note that unpeeled potatoes are higher in vitamin B, and the skin is delicious and crispy.
Sprinkle the raw potatoes with cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper and toss them together in a bowl. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven or an airfryer for 8-12 minutes. You can take them out earlier for a more chewy consistency or go for crispy.
2. Add the ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar and shake to combine.
3. Add the arugula to a large serving bowl, top with the roast sweet potatoes, apples or avocado, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and goat cheese.
4. Drizzle in half of the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the dressing as you like.
Serve as a side with chicken, rice, steak or any other protein, or as a standalone vegan dish. Serves 2-3 people.