I enjoyed the company of friends at a brunch potluck yesterday. Alicia hosted us at her new home, meaning I had a chance to see many of her beautiful projects in person, and catch up with her and Najma, another good friend.
An added perk to attending the potluck was a chance to do some more kitchen experimenting. When I began work on a sweet potato salad, I aimed for something both savory and sweet, something with a citrus edge and a foundation of vegetables, something healthy, and something that jointly appeals to the paleo diet and the vegan diet. Here is the result!
5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small cucumber, diced very small (optional*)
3 tbsp. pepitas
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice (no added sugar)
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
juice from 1/2 of a lime
1. Steam the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in a steamer basket until soft. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork. Remove from steamer basket and place in a large mixing bowl.
2. While steaming the sweet potatoes, make the dressing. Combine all ingredients and put through a blender or food processor for a quick 10 or 20 seconds. You could try whisking vigorously, but it is difficult to get the dijon mustard well incorporated by hand.
3. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the steamed sweet potatoes. Use a bean masher to mash some of the sweet potatoes, while leaving other sweet potatoes in tact. Doing this after you add the dressing should be fairly easy. Stir.
4. Add in the cucumber, dried cranberries, and pepitas. Pour the remaining 1/4 of the dressing into the mix at this point. Stir until everything is well-incorporated. Refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to fully soak in.
*I am currently working on getting rid of a large number of cucumbers from our garden, so expect them to show up in my recipes over the next few weeks. In my personal opinion, you probably don't need them in this recipe, though I liked having a raw veggie in the mix.