This salad developed from a Mark Bittman recipe that I found years ago. I adapted it, adding a few more Latin flavors. The warm potatoes are tossed with a super-healthy dressing that includes fresh red pepper. The ingredients may sound odd, but all of the ingredients combine to create a well-balanced flavor profile. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator, and can be served cold, at room temperature, or even slightly warm. Be sure to let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours to allow the flavors to marry.
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tablespoon olive oil
Generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 small red bell pepper, cleaned and cut into pieces (see Video)
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup minced cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 425-degrees. Spray a half-sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Toss the sweet potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper together on the sheet pan, then spread into an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, turn over with a spatula, then roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until they are tender (but not soft or mushy).
While the potatoes roast, prepare the dressing:
In the jar of a blender add the red wine vinegar, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, cumin, olive oil, and orange peel. Blend until very smooth.
Place the dressing in a bowl along with the cilantro, scallions, and dried cranberries. When the sweet potatoes are done, add them to the bowl and toss everything together. Let the mixture cool, then cover and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to marry.
Serve cold, at room temperature or slightly warm.