Friday, October 19, 2018

Sweet Potato and Carrot Salad with Cumin and Herbs

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, stock up on pastured meats from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, including plenty of greens and root vegetables such as sweet potatoes.

My standard dish with sweet potatoes is fries, but with the sunny weather we've been having, I felt like something lighter, so I went hunting for inspiration in my cookbook collection and came across a tamarind sweet potato salad in Neelam Batra's 1000 Indian Recipes. I didn't have tamarind or several of the other ingredients, but it inspired me to toss steamed sweet potato with toasted cumin seeds, a lime juice dressing, and plenty of mint and cilantro. With the addition of some purple carrots for color and crunch, this turned into a bright and refreshing salad that might just reappear on our Thanksgiving dinner table as a contrast to the beloved but soft and bland standbys.

Sweet Potato and Carrot Salad with Cumin and Herbs
1 large sweet potato
2 carrots
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp honey
salt to taste
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
1 handful cilantro leaves. chopped

1. Steam the sweet potato to cook through. I pressure cooked it in an Instant Pot for 18 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Peel the carrots and cut into similar sized cubes.

2. In a dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds briefly so that they become fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and bruise them with a pestle. Whisk together the cumin seeds with 1 Tbsp olive oil, juice from one lime, 1/2 tsp honey and a pinch of salt. Use the dressing to coat the sweet potato and carrots. Toss with the fresh herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

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