So...it's Father's Day in a few days (did it creep up on you too?) and chances are you'll be celebrating in some way this weekend, perhaps with a picnic or cookout. Have I got a side for you!! This sweet potato salad full of crunchy snap peas and scallions, all coated in a spicy, slightly creamy peanut sauce is sure to please dads, grandpas, uncles, teenage boys and everybody else too! Judging from the way my husband and son scarfed this up the other night, it's a side I'll be making all summer long...and doubling if we gals want to get a bite or two in ourselves!
Are you a potato salad fan? I have to say that in all honesty, I kind of hate the traditional, deli-style overly mayonnaise-y tasteless gloppy version (but how do you really feel?) Not sure how it got popular or looked to as an essential barbecue side 'cause no one I know really likes it. This Asian-inspired sweet potato salad with its tanginess and crunch is an entirely different animal--I mean vegetable! It's so absolutely good, pretty to look at and kind of addictive. The sweet potatoes are firm yet tender, the snap peas add so much color and crunch, the scallions give it a little zing and for peanut lovers, there's both chopped roasted peanuts and a zippy peanutty sauce coating the whole shebang. Make this for your next backyard shindig and help me start a new potato salad tradition!
Spicy Peanutty Sweet Potato Salad
Makes 5-6 servings--definitely double or triple this for a party
Prep Time: 30 minutes (only about 15 active)
For the Peanut Dressing
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used light)
4 teaspoons sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed
For the salad
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized cubes
1 pound sugar snap peas, cut crosswise into bite-sized pieces
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1. Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend together well. Set aside.
2. Place about 1/2 inch of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, until fork tender. Drain and let cool to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, place the cooled sweet potatoes, the snap peas and the scallions. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat well. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle the peanuts on top and serve.
4. Salad can be made one day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Note: Recipe adapted from The Epicurious Cookbook by Tanya Wenman Steel. I left out the 4 teaspoons of minced peeled fresh ginger from the dressing because I don't like it, but if fresh ginger floats your boat, add it in.