Thursday, August 11, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

What would happen if a whole summer whizzed by completely potato salad free?  It hurts to even think about, it just wouldn't be right.  I was determined to come up with an alternative for all of us white potato avoiders.  I knew I could make this happen with the nutritionally dense sweet potato, as long as there were enough savoury, tangy and creamy ingredients to balance out the sweet.  A healthy dose of onion, pickles, chopped egg, and celery did the trick!  With all of those delicious flavours mingling together, it's quite the summer party.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Origin: Jaime, Impeccable Taste

Notes:  To keep things paleo friendly, I make my own mayonnaise, avoiding sugar and unhealthy vegetable oils.  I have included my recipe for homemade, olive oil mayonnaise below.  Obviously, good quality store bought mayo works great here (I like Hellman's)I have incorporated instructions on how to roast sweet potatoes into this recipe.  Everyone has their own method for this.  I have found that preheating the baking sheets helps them crisp up pretty well.  You can roast the potatoes however you like, you just need to start with well roasted, bite sized chunks of sweet potato for this salad.


4 pounds sweet potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed clean
1/2 cup coconut oil (or any vegetable oil), divided
salt and pepper

5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced (about 1 cup)
4 large dill pickles, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

To roast the sweet potatoes, preheat oven to 475 degrees, place oven racks in the middle and lower positions.  Insert 2 baking sheets to preheat along with the oven.  Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan until just melted/liquified.  Chop the sweet potatoes by halving them lengthwise, then cut the halves lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces, chop wedges into bite sized pieces (about 1/2 inch thick).  In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with 4 tablespoons of oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.  When the oven and baking sheets are preheated, carefully remove the baking sheets and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil onto each sheet.  Carefully distribute the sweet potatoes between the 2 baking sheets in a single layer, and pop them back in the oven.  Roast for about 15 minutes, then flip the potatoes with a spatula, and put the trays back into the oven, rotating the 2 sheets top to bottom.  The potatoes should be done after an additional 10 minutes of roasting.  I like to put each sheet under the broiler for a couple of minutes to get some nice brown crispy spots.  Remove potatoes and cool completely.

To prepare the salad, combine the mayo and Dijon mustard in a small bowl.  Toss the cooled sweet potatoes, eggs, onions, pickles, celery and mayo mixture together in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper, chill and serve.

Homemade Olive Oil Mayonnaise
Origin: Jaime, Impeccable Taste

Notes:  This mayo can be made with a food processor or by hand with a very strong arm.  I use light or extra light olive oil for this recipe to keep the flavour neutral.  The mayonnaise made in the food proccessor will be more stiff then that made by hand, but it's worth it to save time and your arm.


2 egg yolks, preferably room temperature
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups light (not extra virgin or first pressing) olive oil

Food processor method:  Put the egg yolks, Dijon, lemon juice and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Measure out your olive oil.  Process the egg and seasonings for about 30 seconds until lightened and thickened slightly.  Keep the motor running and using a teaspoon (it helps control the speed at which you add your oil), drizzle oil SLOWLY, teaspoon by teaspoon, drip by drip, through the feed tube of the food processor.  After you have added about 1/2 cup, you should see a thick mayonnaise forming, you can now increase the speed at which you add the remainder of the oil, still using the teaspoon to drizzle in a slow, steady stream.  Stop processing immediately after you have finished adding your oil or it may separate. (Use your ears, you can actually hear a change in the sound of of the mayonnaise as it loosens before it separates. Stop processing immediately if you hear this!) Chill until ready to use.

By hand:  Dampen a tea towel, fold it, and place it under a medium sized mixing bowl (this will keep the bowl steady when whisking like a mad person).  Measure out your olive oil.  Place egg yolks, Dijon, lemon juice and salt in the mixing bowl, whisk vigorously until pale and slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.  While whisking continuously, using a teaspoon, VERY SLOWLY drip the olive oil into the egg yolk mixture.  By VERY SLOWLY I mean it should take you about 4 minutes to add the first 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Once the first 1/4 cup of olive oil has been added, you should see the mayo starting to emulsify.  You can increase the speed at which you add your oil now, still using the teaspoon to drizzle in a slow, steady stream.  It should take you an additional 4-5 minutes to add the rest of the oil.  Do not over mix or the mayo may separate.  Chill until ready to use.

If your mayo separates:  Have no fear!  It can always be rescued.  Get your arm ready, it's going to take some more elbow grease.  Start with one egg yolk in a medium, clean bowl.  Whisk the egg yolk vigorously for about 30 seconds, until it has lightened in colour.  Slowly add your separated mayonnaise, drip by drip into the new bowl, whisking continuously.  This should bring the mayo back to a smooth, creamy consistency.


  1. This looks awesome! I'm going to make this for my daughter's birthday party on Saturday. It's a challenge to think of what to provide for an outdoor lunchtime toddler birthday party, so thanks for helping out!

  2. Thanks! Great choice for a's really yummy and a little different too!

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