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Primal Sweet Potato Salad with Aromatic Spices
Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
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Roasting spices enhances their flavor by releasing the oils in the spices. The sweet and savory spices in this recipe are one of my favorite spice blends because they produce a deep, complex flavor profile, an aromatic lift, a nice hit of heat, and a gentle sweetness. It’s good on so many things i.e. sweet potatoes, winter squash, soups, chili, root veggies, and roasted nuts. This salad is a great accompaniment to pork and chicken, and best served at room temperature.
Prep time: 20 min • Cook time: 30 min • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
4 large yams, peeled and cut into a 1-inch cubes (about 9 cups)
3 colored bell peppers, red, orange, yellow or any combination, cut into a 1 ½-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
2 small purple onions, cut into wedges (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and divided
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, whole or coarsely chopped
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425 ºF.
Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl and pour in 2 tablespoons coconut oil and about ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat and place in one layer on a sheet pan. Place onions and peppers in a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil, toss to coat, and place in one layer on a second sheet pan.
Put both pans in the hot oven. Check at 20 minutes. Check again at 25 minutes.
Remove from oven if done. If not, let roast for 3 to 5 more minutes. The sweet potatoes should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the vegetables lightly charred. Let cool to room temperature. Place all vegetables in a large bowl.
While the vegetables are roasting make the spice blend by mixing ginger, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, sweet paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and black pepper in a small sauté pan and heat over medium heat until the spices become fragrant and a fine wisp of smoke lifts from the pan. Let cool. Add maple syrup and olive oil to the spices and mix well.
Pour mixture over the vegetables and gently toss to coat. Adjust salt if necessary. Best served at room temperature.
The sweet potatoes and vegetables shrink significantly when roasted.
If you want to keep this spice blend on hand, mix all spices, up to and including black pepper, and store in a sealed container in a dark cool place. You can make this spice blend in any quantity; I usually double or triple it. Do not roast the spices until just before use.
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