Can’t Beet Sweet Potato Salad

I love potato salad, but many versions are loaded with sugar or salt–and regular ???????????????????????????????potatoes themselves lack phytonutrients. Adding sweet potatoes and beets to the mix provides big boosts in flavor, color, and nutrition. You won’t even notice the missing sugar, salt, and mayonnaise.

  • 4 white, yellow, or purple potatoes
  • 2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes
  • 2 large or 3 medium beets
  • 1 or 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 or 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice & grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1-2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbs prepared mustard (Dijon or brown preferred, but yellow also OK)
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon (or 1 Tbs fresh)
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • handful of cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)
  • Sriracha sauce, to taste (optional for you, mandatory for me)

Scrub potatoes and beets, trimming off their ends and any blemishes, and cut them into chunks of roughly equal size, no more than 2” in any dimension. Steam them over vigorously boiling water until tender but not mushy, up to about 20 minutes but perhaps considerably less. Check periodically and remove chunks as they are done, leaving the others to cook longer. (Depending on their age and condition, beets are apt to take the longest and sweet potatoes the shortest cooking times.) When cool enough to handle, remove their skins and chop each chunk a couple more times to yield pieces about ½” to ¾” across.

In a glass jar, place the oil, lemon juice & zest, vinegar, mustard, and seasonings, screw on the lid, and shake vigorously to thoroughly mix everything.

Combine the potatoes and beets in a large bowl with the onions and celery. Pour on the dressing and mix to incorporate. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Pass sriracha sauce separately.

You might want to keep the beets separate and not mix them in until just before serving, to preserve the distinct colors of the ingredients. Soon enough, however, the entire salad will turn red–which is no bad thing. We beet lovers must trumpet the many virtues of that admirable but much-neglected vegetable any way we can.

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