Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Grilled ¿Sweet-Potato? Salad

This recipe comes from The News Tribune. It sounded tasty enough that I worked it into our weekly meal plan ahead of time. I know there are people who love sweet potatoes, and there are others who love yams, and supposedly never the twain shall meet. Well, the fact is that oftentimes people think something is a yam when it's actually a variety of sweet potato that's more orange than some other varieties. A true yam is a different veggie altogether. I'm not sure if I've ever tasted real yams. Hmmmmm. That's one of life's deep mysteries. At any rate, I tend to prefer the softer, moister, more orange tuber--be it yam or sweet potato. So that's what I used to make this.

2 lb. sweet potatoes/yams (oh, whatever, you purists!), peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slabs
Canola oil or other neutral-tasting cooking oil (a couple tablespoons)
Coarse salt, to taste
Scallions (2 bunches) or chives (enough to equal about 2 bunches of scallions), washed and trimmed at both ends
Cilantro, finely chopped (a couple tablespoons)
Butter (a couple tablespoons)
Lime juice (a couple tablespoons)
Ground cumin (1 t. or so)

Heat or light your grill. You want it to be on medium heat, if you have that option with your grill. While the grill is heating, toss the sweet-potato slabs with some oil. Add salt to taste. Oil and salt the scallions/chives, too, keeping them in a loose bunch. Put the scallions/chives on the grill in a bunch (perpendicular to slats). Cook, turning once, until they're softened and lightly charred in places (about 5 min.; a bit less for chives than for scallions). Remove from grill. Place sweet potatoes on grill and cook, turning once, until they have nice grill marks on both sides and are cooked all the way through (6-8 min.). Remove from grill. Coarsely chop the scallions/chives. Chop the sweet potatoes into bite-size pieces while still hot. Put the chives and hot sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, butter, lime juice, and cumin. Toss to coat. Add more salt to taste, if desired.

The flavor combination of this dish was very good. It's definitely repeatable. We sliced our sweet potatoes into rounds, which made for a pretty presentation but a lot of work at the grill. Placing about a hundred sweet-potato pieces on the grill, then flipping them, then removing them makes for a long project. Slicing them lengthwise would mean a much quicker grilling process, though perhaps a slightly less attractive presentation. But it would be worth it. I've adjusted the recipe accordingly.

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