We're finally getting some warm weather and the farmers market is stocked with beautiful local produce. It's salad season is what I'm saying.
I like to make this salad the night before I plan on eating it (when the house is cool) so I don't overheat the kitchen and so the flavours can really meld. It's a big, hearty salad that can definitely pass as a meal.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (small dice - like, the size of a kidney bean)
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water or broth
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
10 - 15 grape tomatoes, chopped
1 (12oz) can corn - drained and rinsed
1 (14oz) can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 avocado - diced (optional)
Juice of 2 large limes (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup oil (I use vegetable oil because I feel like olive oil overpowers the lime)
1/4 cup red onion, diced finely
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or cilantro if you're a weirdo who can stomach the stuff)
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
pinch of salt
There is a bit of prep work involved in making this salad but it's worth it, I promise.
First heat your oven to 350F. Drizzle your diced sweet potato with a bit of oil (1 - 2 tsp) and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast for 8 - 10 minutes, shake up your pan (or flip your sweet potatoes with a spatula) and roast for another 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
While your sweet potato is roasting, mix quinoa and water (or broth) in a small pan. Bring to a boil on high heat and then cover. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Mix together your dressing ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, roasted sweet potato, and remainder of salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Just before serving, throw on an avocado for extra sass.
This salad is delicious when first prepared but it's something really special if you give it a night for the flavours to really come together. You get a double punch of protein from the quinoa and the black beans, and the sweet potatoes add a creamy richness.