Sweet potatoes used to be on my I-don’t-like list of foods — those that I’d never ever dream of eating again. I decided to try them again when I started running in May as they’re on every superfood list. I have to admit that I still didn’t like them the first time…or the second and third times. It was on the fourth time that I fell in love with sweet potatoes. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I love to play with interesting salad combinations, mixing vegetables with filling ingredients like bulgur, quinoa, lentils and beans. Growing up, salads were never boring at home — think lebanese bulgur red lentil salad, roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad and cooked bell pepper and green olive salad — so when I got married I continued the family tradition in our new home. I do make simple green salads from time to time, but there’s nothing I love more than experimenting with new combinations.
I wanted to add a new salad to my repertoire, combining delicious sweet potato with something filling like lentils. I really love sweet potato roasted; there’s something about the roasting process that makes them totally irresistible. And that’s how this salad came to life.
This salad highlights delectable sweet potato cubes, first roasted with olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper and oregano, as well as green lentils, green onion, coriander leaves and tomato. The dressing is so simple but so flavorful — just lemon juice and olive oil — so as to keep the sweet potato the true star of the show.
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- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed
- 1 green onion, white and green part chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tomato, chopped
- Juice from 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F and line a baking sheet with foil paper. In a bowl, combine the cubed sweet potato, olive oil, dried oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Lay out the sweet potato on the baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
- Combine the green lentils with lots of water in a saucepan (about 3 cups of water) with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked through. Drain and cool completely.
- In a bowl, combine the sweet potato, lentils, green onion, coriander leaves and tomato. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix to combine. I always tend to add a bit more cumin here, but feel free to leave the salad as is. Serve at room temperature.