Problems that are not problems:
-There is beach sand in my car and a thick layer of dirt on my hiking shoes.
-Sweat is very visible on mint-colored shorts. Crossing your legs = asking for trouble. Was that too real?
-Sometimes you (i.e. me) want to walk to the mailbox in your embarrassing indoor clothes, but it’s still light outside. And maybe you’re too nice to snap “Don’t look at me!” at anyone you encounter.
-I couldn’t stop eating grilled sweet potato slices this weekend. And then I couldn’t stop eating the salad I made with them.
Life should be a series of not-problems. Holy cow, this thing that’s supposed to be good for me is also crazy delicious? No problem mang!
First, let’s make a simple dressing. It’s good to get things out of the way before you get a-grilling. Pre-smoke-and-flames groundwork… So you can enjoy your sweet potatoes at their warmest, though they’re delightful at any temperature (I polished off leftovers around midnight, straight out of the fridge, so I know these things).
Also good to chop up some kale. Fact: This was a massaged kale salad in my brain, but I forgot to buy an extra bunch. Massaged kale = wilted kale = smaller volume. Again, either is delicious, and if you’ve never tried a massage kale salad… Put that into your magic Google box and take note!
For now, just chopping it into bite-size pieces will do.
One giant sweet potato, straight from the farmer’s market.
Slice (by hand or with a mandoline). Toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Now, the fun begins. I took pictures before flipping–I don’t even know why. Odd habit I suppose, but everything is so much better with grill marks.
I wondered whether the potato slices would really cook all the way trough before burning on the outside. Well, fear not! No need to blanch or steam beforehand (I was considering trying that).
Then, toss your kale with some sprouts (optional but fun) and about half the dressing.
Top with potatoes and drizzle with more. Alternatively, just dump the potatoes in and toss everything together. Presentation schmesentation!
And here you go. Winterish food, summerfied… It has the grill marks to prove it.
Grilled Sweet Potato and Kale Salad
(Inspired by Elise at Simply Recipes)
1 tbsp minced shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dijon
1 teaspoon each poppy seeds and sesame seeds (optional but fun)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste, plus olive oil for grilling
1 bunch kale (Lacinto/dino kale is nice for salads), chopped into bite size pieces
2 cups sprouts
Combine dressing ingredients except salt and pepper in a jar, close tightly, shake until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Preheat the grill to medium-hot heat. Cut the peeled potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices, using a sharp knife or mandoline. Cut big slices diagonally in half to a more manageable size. Toss potatoes with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill potato slices until cooked through and well marked, for 4-6 minutes on each side.
Combine kale and sprouts with about half of the dressing. Plate the salad, then top with potato slices and drizzle with additional dressing. (Alternatively, you can toss kale, sprouts and potato slices, add about half the dressing, toss, taste, add more as you like.)
Serves 4 as a light meal or side, or 2 as a more heavy-duty meal.