Last weekend, in preparation for 4th of July, I decided to make a food allergy friendly, gluten-free sweet potato salad recipe that is also free of the top 8 food allergens. In the past when I’ve tried my hand at sweet potato salads, I’ve used yams, a variety of sweet with an orange color. This year, I decided to use Japanese sweet potatoes. They are a bit drier than the other kind of sweet potato, and I hoped that they would hold up to being cooked and then tossed into a salad.

I consulted cookbook after cookbook for even the faintest hint of a recipe, and finally settled on Claudia Roden’s book The New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking. Claudia’s recipes call for simple ingredients, are full of flavor and are easy to execute. This recipe is based on one of hers for boiled winter vegetables. I added a few different ingredients to this than she suggested and omitted the other vegetables, but added carrots and celery.

The health benefits of sweet potatoes are many including a higher fiber, calcium, magnesium and more.

inspired by Claudia Roden

(2) Medium Sweet Potatoes – about 1.5 – 2 pounds
(6) baby carrots or two carrots cut into 2 inch lengths
(4) celery tops
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
Olive Oil
Microgreens (optional)

Dice sweet potatoes into 1/2″ cubes and immediately immerse in cold water to keep them from turning brown. Drain the sweet potatoes, then place the sweet potatoes in a pot and barely cover with fresh cold water. Add the carrots, celery and spices. Stir. Bring the water to almost a boil, cover loosely and cook on low for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked.

After the sweet potato is cooked, remove all from the water with a slotted spoon. Boil the water down a bit, then add about 2 TBSP of honey, stir to dissolve. Remove the spiced water and let cool a bit.

Plate the sweet potatoes, dice the carrots and celery and add them on top. Once the water / honey mixture is cooled, pour over the sweet potatoes. You’ll likely have more liquid than you need so just make sure you pour evenly and that the sweet potatoes aren’t swimming in the liquid. Pour a bit of Olive Oil over the top, then squeeze 1/2 of a lime, add a pinch of salt, and the microgreens if using, then serve.

If you make this, please let me know what you thought! And if you want to take my idea and write it in your column, please let me know. Sam Sifton and Mark Bittman or any food writer from the New York Times is included in this comment. 😉 I think this will become one of our summer picnic staples.

PS – I saved the leftover bits from the sweet potato and boiled them again in the water and refrigerated them – they were excellent and are pictured here in my dinner from the following night of an open-faced burger.

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