This Mexican-style Sweet Potato Salad was inspired by Anna Jones’ Charred Corn, Scrunched Kale and Sweet Potato recipe, from her book, A Modern Way to Eat. I love this book, it is full of beautiful pictures and good, simple food, and I’ve adapted quite a few recipes from it over the years. Anna’s second book, A Modern Way to Cook^ looks divine too. I’d been looking for a way to use up some sweet potatoes I had in the fridge, and the pairing with crunchy cashew dressing and slightly smoky charred corn make for a richly textured and delicious dish. The original recipe included avocado, which would have gone really well, adding a bit of creaminess (and avocado never goes amiss, to be honest), but the avocado I bought at the start of the week hadn’t ripened by the time I came to preparing my packed lunch, so I had to go without.
The Mexican-inspired spices really work with the fresh, earthy taste of raw kale, but you can use any greens you prefer, or steam your kale if that’s how you like it. I had this sweet potato salad as a packed lunch, but it would go really well as part of a bigger meal. The bright colours make for a very pretty bowl, and this dish holds up really well to travelling to the office. The sweet-smoky flavours and riot of colour in Mexican dishes like this always make me happy, and a big healthy salad bowl is the best kind of workday lunch.
Making Sweet Potato Salad with Charred Corn and Cashews another day? Pin it so you don’t forget!
The Sweet Potato Salad with Charred Corn and Cashews recipe:
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. cumin seed
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 cup frozen sweetcorn (the original recipe calls for fresh corn-on-the-cob, but frozen is much easier to get hold of, and works absolutely fine)
- 200g prepared kale
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ cup cashew nuts
- Lg. handful of fresh coriander (stalks and all)
- 4 tblspn. coconut water
- 1 red chilli
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, then wash, peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes and put them into an oven dish. Add the smoked paprika, cumin seed, honey and coconut oil and stir until the sweet potatoes are coated. Put the tray into the oven and bake for a total of 40 minutes. You can leave the sweet potatoes alone for the first half hour or so of baking time. Go and do something fun (or, if you’re anything like me, faff about trying to take pictures of your food), just remember to give them a stir halfway through.
- When you come back, get started on the dressing: Cut the lime in half and squeeze it straight into the blender. Add the cashews, coriander and coconut water, then de-seed and roughly chop the chilli and add that to the blender too. Pulse the whole lot for a few minutes until it is fairly smooth. Grind in a little salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the dressing from the blender, scraping down the sides to make sure you get all that goodness out, and refrigerate.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through: soft and golden and beginning to get syrupy, remove them from the oven and set aside. Next, take out a heavy, cast-iron frying pan and turn the heat right up under it. Throw in the sweetcorn and cook for a few minutes, until it begins to char, the add the corn to the sweet potatoes. They should sizzle a little. Allow the sweet potato and corn mix to cool*, then put in the fridge until the morning that you’re planning to eat it.
*If you’re serving this dish as part of a meal then by all means, keep the sweet potato and corn hot as you bring the bowl to the table.