Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Asian Sweet Potato Salad with Cashews

This delicious salad recipe is loosely based on a salad recipe from Tyler Florence's  cookbook, Tyler Florence's Family Meal. The main change I made was instead of using friend asian noodles in the salad, or friend wontons, I went with cashews. I had just received some fabulous nuts to try from ShopRite as part of the Potluck Blog Panel that I am involved with, and I was eager to try them in some Asian-inspired cuisine.  I was careful to only use half of them, because I am saving the other half to make Chinese cashew chicken the following week. At any rate, this sweet potato salad is a winner, and the cashews are a perfect addition and replacement for the friend wontons. The dressing - a creamy sesame/carrot/ginger dressing, which is an interesting take on the traditional carrot/ginger dressing, is absolutely delicious.

Asian Sweet Potato Salad with Cashews
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
4 cups lightly packed arugula
two handfulls of cashews
1/2 of a hothouse cucumber, finely sliced
1 cup pitted and halved dates
2 T fresh cilantro, diced
juice of one lemon

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup grated carrots
2 tsp grated ginger
2 T rice vinegar
2 T mirin

Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepan with lightly salted water, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat until just tender (they should still have a tiny bit of crunch; remember, you are not trying to make mashed potatoes!)

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Combine the arugula, dates, and cilantro (I used much less than the recipe called for) in a large mixing bowl. Some alfalfa bean spouts might be in order as well for the next time I make this - just an idea. Add the lemon juice and a tiny bit of salt and pepper and toss well. Combine the potatoes with the dressing and mix everything together. Yum!

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