Tender roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas coated in spice come together in this salad with a sweet mustard dressing for a light seasonal dish with colour and flavour.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone! I don’t have any leprechaun/whiskey/shamrock inspired treats to share with you today, but I do have a big green salad with potatoes. Well, they’re sweet potatoes, but just concede the point to me please. I woke up at 4.30 a.m. and wore my shirt inside out to the gym this morning and didn’t realise until I got home again. In other words, it’s Tuesday. Salad might not be a traditional Saint Patrick’s Day meal, but March in Queensland is most definitely not cabbage and corned meat weather (currently 29C/85F), and stew is still a foreign concept on the faraway winter horizon. Thus, I humbly offer you a sweet potato and spiced chickpea salad.
Cubes of sweet potato are transformed into tender roasted morsels in the oven while the chickpeas get rolled with spices and crisped in olive oil on the stove top. Once they’ve both come to room temperature they unite with fresh baby spinach and thinly sliced onion before the whole salad meets sweet and spicy honey mustard dressing. I am not a huge fan of too-sweet honey mustard sauces, so this one packs a double mustard punch with both Dijon and wholegrain mustards and gets an extra flavour boost from a squeeze of lemon.
We enjoyed this as part of our family feast on Saturday night and I had leftovers for lunch for the next two days. I would recommend adding the dressing to each serving as you go so that the leaves don’t get too soggy. The salad holds up quite well for about three days as long as you keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you are looking for a fresh and light dinner tonight try this salad, I hear it tastes great with a generously buttered slice of Irish Soda Bread on the side and maybe some Irish Coffee Ice Cream for dessert?
Roasted Sweet Potato and Spiced Chickpea Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing
Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 4 as a light meal or 2 more substantially
Make it vegan: replace honey in dressing with maple syrup.
- 1 large sweet potato (about 750 grams / 1.6 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (400g) can chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
- 1 small red onion
- 5 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Peel sweet potato and cut into large cubes (1.5cm cubed). Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bake until golden on the outside and soft in the middle. This should take about 30-40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas and drain well to remove most of the water. Place on several layers of paper towel and pat dry. Allow the chickpeas to dry on towels for about 10 minutes.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy bottomed fry pan over medium heat. Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and stir well to coat. Fry chickpeas for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid them sticking and burning. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Peel and thinly slice red onion and place in a large bowl with the baby spinach. Add chickpeas and sweet potato and toss well to combine.
- To make dressing: combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately.