For a range of colors, flavors, and textures, this pretty little salad is a tough one to beat. If you have leftover sweet potatoes and quinoa, you can whip it up in no time, but even if you start from scratch it isn't much work. As is often the case, you can substitute millet for the quinoa if you like; the golden color is lovely.
Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 40 minutes
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa or other small-kernel grain or 1 cup raw
1 large or 2 medium (about 1 pound) sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh chives or parsley leaves
- If you haven't already, cook the quinoa or other grain. Drain in a strainer and rinse. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces. Cook it in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes; drain well.
- Toss together the potato, quinoa, bell pepper, and onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk the oil and vinegar together and toss the salad with about half of this mixture; add all or some of the rest to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with the chives and serve.
Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad. Add 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced, to the mix, along with the sweet potato and quinoa; add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, chili powder, or hot red pepper flakes. Add 1/4 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Use freshly squeezed lime juice in place of the vinegar and cilantro in place of the chives.