After my last few posts of cakes, muffins and cookies, I figured I better post a salad. I made this for dinner the other night because I wanted to use up the yams lingering around my vegetable drawer. Truth be told, I was wondering why I had yams when it was nearly June. But then I remembered I’ve been eating asparagus like it’s been going out of style (well, it is a short growing season), hence the lingering yams. So when I spied a can of black beans in my cupboard, this salad idea was born. It’s a potato salad that strays from the norm and it’s a very, very good thing.
It’s a long weekend here in Canada so why not celebrate with a potato salad. It’s perfect picnic, barbeque or friendly gathering eats and this one is especially nice because it’s not the usual mayo-laden stuff. The roasted sweet potatoes give a good sweetness (so much so that I didn’t add any honey or sweetener in the dressing) and I tossed in some frozen corn to roast up as well. I kept the vinaigrette a bit zingy with lots of lime juice and garlic. Cumin, chili powder and chili flakes (plus a splash of hot sauce) add heat, but it won’t burn your face off. I think people get scared with seeing a lot of chili powder in a recipe, but it’s a blend of several different components (usually garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and oregano) so I don’t find it all that spicy. But if you’re a bit heat-shy, add the amount you feel comfortable with.
My husband and I ate this up as a main-dish salad, but it would work perfectly as a side for a summer bbq. It’s so much more delicious than I would have imagined and we both went back for seconds. I’m already wondering if I should throw some more yams into my grocery basket along with the asparagus! Yams may not scream spring & summer, but this salad helps transform into the perfect vegetable for nice warm days.
And don’t forget to add a sprinkle of feta cheese before serving! It compliments this dish so well.
southwest potato salad
If you don’t have Old Bay, leave it out (or add in a touch of paprika & celery salt). But ever since I discovered how great it went with a black bean salad, I like to add it in. Old Bay, it’s not just for seafood!
3 yams, diced
1 T vegetable oil
1 T chili powder
1/2 t chili flakes (or cayenne)
1 T ground cumin
1 c frozen corn
1/4 c minced red onion
1 can of black beans, rinsed & drained
1/4 c vegetable oil
juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced
a splash of red wine vinegar (optional)
1/2 t Old Bay seasoning
1/2 t ground cumin
pinch of salt & a good grind of black pepper
a few spashes of hot sauce
crumbled feta cheese & cilantro, optional
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine the diced yams with the oil, chili powder, cumin and chili flakes. Dump out evenly onto a prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add corn into the same bowl and toss to gather up any of the remaining spice & oil. Remove yams from oven and toss for even cooking, adding in the corn. Bake for another 15 minutes.
In a large serving bowl, add in the black beans and red onion. Combine the remaining ingredients into a small jar and shake until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove the corn and yams from the oven and add into the bean mixture. Pour over dressing and toss the salad well. Serve immediately (though I’m sure it’s delicious cold too). Serves 4 meal-sized portions.