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And…drum roll…I seem to be making a lot of salads sans lettuce this summer. When people ask me what I most love to cook, I always say creative salads and soups. Of course, I love baking but truthfully I prefer savory dishes.
This recipe I am sharing is a hybrid between two dishes from a few of my favorite recipe writers…Deb Perelman and Mark Bittman. Mark is my age (well, maybe a little younger but not much) and Deb is a LOT younger and writes cookbooks and a fantastic blog. If I were 30 or 40 something, I would want to be her yet I jumped on the blog bandwagon a little late in life. But I digress…
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Salad
- 3 medium peeled sweet potatoes (I don’t use yams although they are more colorful, but sweet potatoes hold up better for me)
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 25 grinds fresh black pepper
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds + 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch dried pepper flakes
- 1 ½ cups black beans (15 oz can or freshly cooked. Don’t hate me, but I always have fresh black beans in my fridge or freezer)
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp chopped pickled red onions
- 1 large avocado
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (I love Valpreso)
- Wedges of lime to serve
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut potatoes into half-moons. Coat the sweet potato slices with the olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and roast for 15 -20 minutes until slightly brown. Turn the potatoes and bake for another 15 minutes or until they are soft and brown.
Meanwhile, combine pumpkins seeds with two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and warm. Let the pumpkin seeds cook until they are a little brown, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Put aside while you wait for the potatoes to cook
Rinse the cooked black beans (freshly cooked or from a can). Add this to the cooked potato along with cooked pumpkin seeds, cilantro, and red onions. Cut the avocado into cubes and add last. Gently mix and top with feta cheese. Taste and add more salt, pepper and pass a dish of lime wedges to squeeze on top of the salad. This is great slightly warm or at room temperature.