Roasted Sweet Potato, Corn, & Black Bean Salad

On Thursday afternoon, one of my co-workers reminded me that we had a work potluck lunch the next day. I looked at her like she just told me that bacon isn’t delicious. Crazy talk. I had completely, thoroughly, and determinedly erased the potluck from my memory. I had somehow managed to set aside completely not only the two friendly reminder emails sent out by the potluck coordinator but perhaps more impressively, had also forgotten entirely about the reminder I set on my phone. 

It is important to note that I obviously did not sign up to bring the forks, napkins, or sweet tea (a staple at Southern potlucks). 

Nope. I added my own item to the list of recommended potluck contributions, excited to try out a new recipe experiment on an audience that is not limited to my soul mate. 

Naturally, after work I did whatever it is I do after work, but put off cooking until Friday morning. Let me mention that this dish has a cooking time of approximately an hour, not including prep time, of course. Typical. 

The good news is that the recipe experiment went successfully. The maddening news is that I also had to give the foster dog a bath before work to get her ready to go to her forever home. She’s got ridiculously thick hair and hates baths, so that was an all-around pleasure. Her coat is so absorbent that I’m going to have to check with my flood insurance carrier to see if I need to adjust my premium. There was water everywhere. But even though she hates baths, she loves to smile, even while soaking wet: 


I don’t know that I should have called the roasted vegetable mixture a salad, but I wasn’t quite sure what else to call it. It’s entirely devoid of tomatoes, so I don’t want to call it a salsa, but I’m rather at a loss for what else to name this flavorful, Mexican-inspired mixture. 

Instead of naming it clearly in a way that would be helpful to the reader, I’ll just describe it. Sauteed sweet potatoes, with corn, onions, garlic, corn, and black beans form the base of the flavors. The veggies are first sauteed and then are roasted in a skillet for 30 minutes or so. 


The result is a slightly crunchy, but still soft, dish. The flavors include some sweetness (from agave nectar), some heat from a jalapeno pepper and cayenne pepper, rich cumin, and the clean flavor of cilantro with lime. 

I think this would be a great, healthy alternative to a potato salad for a cookout, or it could be served hot as a side dish. I enjoyed this salad while it was still warm as my breakfast. We had some extra jalapeno ranch sauce from a Chuy’s takeout order (we have a developed a slight addiction to their salsa and queso), so I tossed the veggies in the sauce for some extra flavor. I topped with sliced avocado and savored my last few minutes before the rush of the day! 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Corn, & Black Bean Salad

You will need:
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 4 cups sweet potato (unpeeled), diced
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1.2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup yellow corn kernels
  • 1 3/4 cups black beans (1 can), drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed, finely chopped
  • 5 green onions (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup, when chopped), thinly sliced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 fresh avocado, to serve (optional)

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 375. 
  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add onion, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic, and sweet potato. Cook for about five minutes. 
  • Stir in agave nectar, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, jalapeno, and corn. Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Add black beans and transfer mixture to preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until roasted to your liking, then remove from heat and let the mixture cool slightly. 
  • Meanwhile, stir together cilantro, green onions, lime juice and zest, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl.
  • When the sweet potato mixture has cooled slightly (about ten minutes), transfer oven-roasted veggies to the large bowl containing cilantro (et. al.). 
  • Toss the mixture and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled, topped with fresh avocado, if desired. 
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