Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad

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Quinoa and Sweet Potato SaladI’ve made lots of changes to this recipe since the first edition for a better range of colors, flavors, and texture. The key is stir-fried sweet potatoes. This works with any leftover cooked grain.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • 2¼ cups cooked quinoa or other small-kernel grain (see page 398) or 1 cup raw
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 medium), peeled and grated
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 0.125 cup chopped fresh chives or parsley for garnish
How to Make It
  1. If you’re starting with raw quinoa or other grain, cook it according to the directions on page 397. Drain if necessary and let cool a bit.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the sweet potatoes and shallot, spreading them out as evenly as possible; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, undisturbed, until the mixture sizzles and browns on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir with a spatula to turn and separate the potatoes, then cook, stirring like that every 2 or 3 minutes, until they’re just tender but not mushy. Transfer to a baking sheet and separate the pieces so the potatoes stop cooking.
  3. Whisk together the remaining oil and the vinegar in a large bowl with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the sweet potatoes, quinoa, and bell pepper and toss with two forks, separating the ingredients as you coat them in the dressing. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and garnish with the chives. Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.
  4. SOUTHWESTERN MILLET AND SWEET POTATO SALAD A little more guts: Substitute millet for the quinoa, lime juice for the vinegar, and cilantro for the chives. When you assemble the salad in Step 3, add 1 avocado (peeled, pitted, and diced), ¼ cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds; see page 299), and ¼ teaspoon cayenne or red chile flakes.

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