A sweet potato salad for summer, a colorful and mouth-watering blend of sweet potato, roasted poblano pepper and roasted corn. No mayonnaise so perfect for a 'dish to carry' for potlucks, picnics and family dinners.
"This is a keeper for summer. Thanks for the inspiration." ~ Anonymous
"It is just wonderful!" ~ DLA in OKC
"This is the perfect summer sweet potato recipe!" ~ Holly
Please welcome Mario Aranda of O Olive Oil, my guide to the pleasure of fine olive oils and artisan vinegars for a couple of years now. And meet Mario’s mother, too, his ‘vinegar mother’, that is.
“Vinegar is essentially sour wine; even the word itself is taken from the French for Vin Aigre, sour wine. “To make vinegar, you start with wine, then trigger the acidifying process. For most vinegars, this is a harsh 48-hour chemical and mechanical process in steel tanks.
“Not so for good vinegar. Good vinegar starts with good wine and a very old vinegar starter called a ‘mother’. In the olden days, vinegar mothers and yeast starters (for bread) were treasured and protected. Each family had a keeper of the ‘mothers’.
“I grew up in a Sephardic Jewish family in Mexico back in the 1950s. My great-aunt Juliana kept the family’s bread starters and vinegar mothers alive. My mother, alas, kept killing her starts or letting them die. So as a kid, I would have to walk across the river to get new starts, much to my aunt’s eye-rolling dismay!
“The ‘mother’ we use at O Olive Oil hails from the Azores and is many generations old. Portuguese immigrants brought it to California in the early 1930s. To make our vinegars, we place fine Napa wines in ventilated oak barrels, then add our own special ingredients (apricot wine to sherry, say, or cherry wine to zinfandel) and a bit of our vinegar ‘mother’. Then nature begins her alchemy that slowly, slooowly turns wine into vinegar. We barrel-age the vinegar for several months and even years.”
Would you like to sample good vinegar from O Olive Oil? There's a discount and a give-away, especially for Kitchen Parade readers, between now and May 3, 2010. Here's the giveaway information.
SWEET POTATO SALAD with
ROASTED POBLANO, ROASTED CORN & CHIPOTLE
Time to table: 35 minutes
Makes 4 cups
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
- 1 large poblano pepper or green pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup corn (see TIPS)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (see TIPS)
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or fresh basil, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- For garnish, additional cilantro or basil
COOK SWEET POTATOES Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling salted water until barely soft OR steam for about 10 minutes. (See TIPS.)
ROAST PEPPER Move oven rack close to the broiler, set oven on broil. Slice the pepper in half vertically; remove core, membrane and seeds. Flatten halves skin-side up on foil on a baking sheet. Place under broiler til skins blister and blacken. Remove from broiler, fold foil over the pepper to form a tight packet; let rest 5 minutes. Lift off and discard skins; slice flesh into strips.
ROAST CORN In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high until shimmery. Add the corn and cook, stirring often, until the kernels turn golden brown. (It’s fun! Some kernels just might pop!)
COMBINE Meanwhile, collect remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked sweet potatoes, roasted pepper and roasted corn. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
SERVE & SAVOR To serve, transfer to a serving bowl to serve at room temperature, otherwise refrigerate to serve later but do return to room temperature. Garnish the salad with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro or a leaf of fresh basil.
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