Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sweet Potato French Bean Lentil Salad #SundaySupper

When you are craving the flavors of Autumn but it’s still hot by most people’s standards, this salade composée of “roasted” sweet potatoes, lentils and French beans, dressed with a shallot vinaigrette, Mandarin oranges and cilantro will help you make the transition from summer to fall, until it really is casserole and stew season once more.

During the roasting hot days of summer in Dubai we eat a lot of salads, what the French would call salades composées, created as they are of many colorful ingredients and substantially suitable for a main course. Our days are ever so slightly less hot right now but we still want mostly cool food in the evenings and as fall produce arrives at the supermarkets, our salads take a decidedly autumnal turn with the addition of sweet potatoes or pumpkin or butternut squash.

Since I try not to turn the oven on unless absolutely necessary, I “roast” the sweet potatoes in a dry non-stick skillet, only adding a small drizzle of olive oil when the potatoes cubes are well-browned, even a little charred in places. I’ve given the quantities for my salad but feel free to add more tomatoes if you love them or choose a different cheese or substitute grapefruit for the oranges and chickpeas for lentils or whatever! This salad is easily adaptable to your taste.

This served two of us for a good supper with some leftovers for lunch the next day.

This week Sunday Supper is celebrating Fall Flavors. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of my recipe to see what other wonderful dishes we have for you to try.

2 small sweet potatoes
5 1/3 oz or 150g French beans
1/2 cup or 105g dried caviar lentils
1 shallot
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 large Mandarin orange
13-15 sweet grape or cherry tomatoes
Good bunch cilantro
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle for the sweet potato pan
3/4 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon flakey sea salt
Black pepper
4 3/4 oz or 135g soft aged goat cheese (Mine is a goat milk Brie.)

Peel and cut your sweet potatoes in bite-sized chunks. Toss them into a dry non-stick skillet and cook over a medium high to high fire, turning and stirring them frequently until they are browned all over.

Drizzle in a little olive oil and stir the cubes to coat. Add in a generous splash of water, reduce the heat and cover the pan tightly. Cook the sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the stove and leave to cool.

Cut the stem ends off of the fine French beans and blanch them in slightly salty boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with ice and water.

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the beans from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the bowl of ice water. When the green beans are cold, remove them from the ice water and drain well on a clean tea towel.

Add your lentils to the boiling green bean water and cook for about 20 minutes or until they are just tender.

Drain your lentils, rinse them and leave them to drain again.

Slice your shallot as thinly as you can and put it in a large bowl. Pour the vinegar over the sliced shallot and set aside. This reduces the sharpness of the raw shallots while flavoring the vinegar.

Peel your Mandarin orange and pull the pegs apart. Use a sharp knife to slice off the hard center and remove any seeds. Cut the orange pieces in half.

Halve your little tomatoes and chop the leaves and tender top stems of the bunch of cilantro roughly.

Mix the whole grained mustard and olive oil into the vinegar and shallots, along with the sea salt and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper.

Add in the cut oranges and stir well.

Add the “roasted” sweet potato and blanched green beans to the dressing bowl.

Top those with the cilantro and tomatoes. Toss the salad thoroughly, making sure to reach deep and dress everything with the dressing and shallots at the bottom of the bowl.

Finally, add the drained lentils and toss again.

Scoop the salad into a pretty serving dish, if desired, and top with small wedges of soft rind goat cheese.


Check out A Guide to Apples plus Best Fall Recipes Ideas for #SundaySupper and this week's recipe collection:


Appetizers and Sides
Main Dishes
Desserts and Cocktails
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