With the summer around the corner (ok, maybe not) you already start to sniff the smell of BBQ. So in celebration for a few rays of sunshine I came up with this summer salad that combines the flavour of BBQ from the grilled sweet potato but also the fresh taste of seasonal spring veg and a wonderful zingy dressing.
This grilled sweet potato and asparagus salad it’s great to enjoy by yourself, as a lunch option at work (as it works cold as well) but also to impress your friends over a lunch enjoyed al fresco.
- Sweet potato – contains slow release carbohydrates and a hormone (adiponectin) helping to keep blood sugars level steady. High in beta carotene which is great for skin and immune system. The orange flesh ones have high levels of potassium which are great for stress and the yellow flesh/purple skin ones have the highest amount of antioxidants;
- Asparagus – Contains inulin, a prebiotic which encourages healthy gut flora. Aspartic acid neutralizes excess ammonia which could otherwise result in feeling drained (boosts energy);
- Chilli – Capsaicin helps remove toxins and reduces hunger, boosts metabolism;
- Mint – Menthol helps relieve indigestion. It is also an adaptogen. This means it can be invigorating as well as a mild sedative, depending on the body needs.
Grilled sweet potato and asparagus salad with minty lemon dressingPrint Recipe
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 8 spears of asparagus
- For the dressing
- Bunch of mint
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 1 garlic clove
- Half of chilli
Put a griddle pan to heat. You want it to be really hot. Wash the potatoes and cut them lengthways in half cm slices. Without any oil, put the slices of the sweet potato on the griddle pan. Cook for about 1 min on each side. Don’t worry about the potatoes sticking to the pan. If the pan is really hot and after 1 min of cooking the potatoes will peal nicely from the pan and you will have the charred lines on each side which not only looks nice but gives a nice flavour. You might need to do this in a couple of batches. OK, what happens if you don’t have a griddle pan? This recipe works just as well and maybe quicker if you steam the sweet potato. You will have to cut the sweet potato in chunks (2cm aprox) and please don’t peal them (all the nutrients are just below the skin and also you save time).
While you wait for each batch of potatoes to cook on the griddle wash the asparagus and break the end (it should break at the point where it’s most fresh). Cut each spear at an angle to create beautiful shards. Put the steamer on (or a colander above a pan of simmering water)and pop the asparagus on to cook for about 1 min no more. You want it to still have a bit of crunch but also retain as many nutrients as possible.
Make the dressing. Pop all the ingredients of the dressing into a food processor with an S blade and blitz until smooth. Put the mint with storks and all as it will be blitzed and the storks still have flavour. If you don’t have a food processor just chop the mint really finely (you might need to remove some storks if very thick), grate the chilli and the garlic and then mix all together by hand.
Pour the dressing onto the mixed asparagus and sweet potato and voila!
If you don’t have a griddle pan, this recipe works just as well and maybe quicker if you steam the sweet potato. You will have to cut the sweet potato in chunks (2cm aprox) and please don’t peal them (all the nutrients are just below the skin and also you save time). If you don't have a food processor you can make the dressing by chopping the mint very finely and mixed it with grated chilli, garlic and olive oil.