Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Sweet Potato Salad & Frilly Toothpicks

I just can't help myself when talking about my family. I know everyone probably thinks they have the best or maybe worst family on the planet. The Bear and I feel immensely lucky. Our family is wonderful, both sides, hands down. The best part, everyone makes us laugh which always makes for a fantastic story.

Last weekend, I happened to go biking with my youngest sister, my step mom, and my dad. I was very excited I chose to go out on this excursion because it is one of my favorite bike trails in Iowa- the High Trestle Trail. The youngest sister of the brood, has been training for RAGBRAI. It had been a year to the date that we all conquered the trail together last summer. I was so looking forward to doing it again, but had to go about it at my own pace. Fortunately, my dad was looking forward to riding with me. We both were just happy to be along for the ride:)

Anyhow, we finished 26 miles regardless of pace which always calls for a little bit of celebrating. That night we ended up dining out at St. Andrews, a near by bar and grill. We got a very kind waitress who could handle my family's celebratory sense of humor. One of those funny things being "frilly toothpicks." You see, we all kind of have a thing for "frilly toothpicks." You know, the kind they put in club sandwiches? It's even better if you give us the sword toothpicks, but no one will complain if they get one of those "frilly toothpicks." Needless to say while ordering, my dad expressed some of his sense of humor that night by asking our waitress about the sandwiches and if they came with the "frilly toothpicks." He said he "absolutely" knew that a club sandwich would come with toothpicks, but had to ask if he was splitting the Philly sandwich with his wife, "would it come with the 'frilly toothpicks?' " We all had to hang our heads in laughter at this question. The waitress said she was "unsure" with that kind of smirky smile one has when they are trying their best to be as polite as possible, but are trying as hard as heck not to burst out in laughter. I for one, burst out in laughter and took the edge off anyway. Truth be told, the Philly did not come with the "frilly toothpicks." Our waitress, however, was awesome enough to later bring out some "filly toothpicks." My dad said, "You've certainly earned your tip tonight ma'am."

To wrap up an very humorous story, I must say I feel this dish is deserving of some sort of fancy toothpick. Alas, I have none. It makes for a beautiful picture anyway. Wouldn't you agree?

This salad is packed with summer's bounty! A modern twist on the classic potato salad, bursting with color and flavor that will have you craving this dish all year long. Light, mayo free, and the perfect accompaniment to any grilled meat you will want to try this Summer Sweet Potato Salad as soon as possible.

Summer Sweet Potato Salad
inspired by One Green Planet

For the salad:
4 cups diced sweet potatoes
2 cups thawed frozen corn or fresh corn cut off the cob
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Zest and juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spread sweet potatoes over the sheet in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Add the potatoes to the large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat. Can be served immediately or you can cover and chill the salad until you are ready to serve.

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