In April 2012 the Hungry Girls were invited to do a guest blog for American website Design Sponge, and we settled on this favourite salad. It’s a jumble of soft-roasted chunks of sweet potato and regular potato, caramelised onion, crunchy green beans and juicy tomatoes – plus lashings of parsley and just enough Spanish smoked paprika for an element of spice.
Sweet potatoes can a bit too sweet for my palate – but combined with the paprika they’re a revelation, the earthy and savoury flavour of the spice adding delicious new appeal. The salad is a perfect weeknight dinner, or it could be a side dish in a more elaborate meal. The beans and tomatoes make it a great thing to make in the warmer months, and I happened to make it with some purple and green beans from our garden as you can see in the photos below.
P.S. The photos in this post are by Leah Holscher, photographer of The Hungry Girls Cookbooks.
Sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad
Why only make this brilliant salad when beans and tomatoes are in season? I’ve discovered that this recipe works in the winter months with broccoli instead of beans, and skipping the tomatoes altogether (perhaps adding a little extra lemon juice).
extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
2 potatoes, cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
large handful of green beans, topped and tailed, cut in half diagonally
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
juice of ½ lemon
sour cream or natural yoghurt to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato and potato and pan-fry for 5–10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly coloured. Stir in the garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and generous black pepper, coating well. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender (around 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the beans and simmer for a few minutes, then drain.
Put the hot beans in a large bowl along with the tomato and parsley. Add the hot roasted vegetables, lemon juice and another good splash of oil and toss to combine. Add extra salt and pepper to taste, then serve with dollops of sour cream or natural yoghurt if desired.