I am very honored to welcome Nava Atlas as my very first guest blogger. Most of you know Nava from her many vegetarian cookbooks, including Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, and the classic Vegetariana. If you’ve been missing Nava’s blog since she went on hiatus, here’s your opportunity to try out one of the new recipes from her upcoming book. And hidden in Nava’s post is a little piece of news that I’ve been hinting at. Enjoy!
One of the most fun things about traveling is finding food inspiration and ideas. I’m most drawn to simple preparations with creative twists. On a trip to Israel last summer, I especially loved the myriad varieties of salads, served morning, noon, and night. I could spend a month in Israel just studying the salads.
On that trip, my family’s last lunch before heading to the airport was at a lovely little café in the suburbs of Tel Aviv. One of the dishes we enjoyed was a mixture of sweet and white potatoes on a bed of greens. Nothing fancy, but it looked great and tasted even better. Once home, I made my own copycat version of the salad, with two additions: a diced avocado mixed into greens, and a topping of pumpkin seeds. It may look fancy, but it’s so easy to make. The pleasing presentation makes it a good salad to impress company with, as well as to bring to potlucks, something I did very recently with great success. This recipe is adapted from my forthcoming book, Vegan Express (to be published in early 2008), with a lovely photographic insert by none other than Susan V. Please visit my site for more main-dish salads perfect for summer meals.
Sweet and White Potato Salad with Mixed Greens
6 or more servings
1 large sweet potato
4 medium white potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold or red-skinned
1/2 cup vinaigrette (homemade or store-bought), or as needed to moisten potatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 ounces (or as desired) mixed baby greens
1 cup (1/2 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
Toasted pumpkin seeds for topping
Microwave the sweet potato for 3 minutes or so, just until done but still nice and firm. Then, microwave the white potatoes, starting with 5 minutes, then adding 1 minute until they, too, are done but still firm. Plunge the sweet potato and white potatoes into a bowl of cold water. If you prefer not to microwave, you can bake all the potatoes ahead of time.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into dice. Combine in a mixing bowl with vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper.
Line a large serving platter with the greens. Mound the potato mixture in the center.
Scatter the tomatoes and avocado around the perimeter of the salad. Top the potato mixture with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Serve at once; pass around additional vinaigrette as desired.