I came up with this recipe for a client of mine that wanted a non-traditional sweet potato dish. It was a real crowd-pleaser!
8 large sweet potatoes
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ cup organic honey
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2 cups shelled pecans
1 egg white
½ cup sugar
½ cup each, chopped red, yellow, and orange peppers
¼ cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
Peel the sweet potatoes- chop into cubes approximately ½ inch each. Place the chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water, and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Test the sweet potatoes as they’re cooking, and remove from the water when they are al dente; firm to the bite.
Once the sweet potatoes are strained, place them in an ice water bath for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooled. Strain the potatoes and set aside.
For the Vinaigrette:
Place the orange juice, honey, and vinegar in a bowl and whisk until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Add the olive oil and continue whisking, until an emulsion forms. Add salt and pepper. Set the vinaigrette aside.
For the Pecans:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place the pecans in a large metal bowl with the sugar, egg white, and a small amount of salt and pepper. Toss until all of the nuts are covered with the sugar mixture.
Place the nuts on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the nuts from the oven and let sit until they become cool, at least 1 hour.
When the nuts have cooled, chop them unto small, bite-size pieces.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped peppers, chopped parsley, vinaigrette, and half of the candied pecans. Gently toss the salad until all of the potatoes have become coated with the vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place the sweet potato salad on a large platter. Put the remaining candied pecans on top- garnish with sliced strawberries!
Chef Chuck Kerber