Of all the Thanksgiving staples, I've never been able to get behind candied sweet potatoes. These orange tubers are one my favorite fall vegetables for their warming sweet flavor, and I can't understand why you'd want mask that sweetness with more sugar, and then top it off with marshmallows? In contrast, if I were doing a sweet potato dish, it'd be something more in line with this sweet potato and corn salad.
I admit the Southwestern influence of poblano peppers and the lime dressing paired with grilled sweet potatoes and roasted corn may not jive with all holiday meals, but it's a combination that works quite well. The earthy, natural sweetness of the potatoes dominates the salad, while the corn imparts another layer of sweetness with each bursting kernel. The poblano lends a mild fruity heat, and the lime and green onion dressing adds a contrasting acidity and freshness.
Yup, this is what I call a good use of sweet potatoes, which are now slowly, but surely, starting their annual progression to becoming the centerpiece of my fall and winter diet.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice from about 2 limes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" slices
- 1 ear corn
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 large poblano pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, for brushing
- Type of fire: Direct
- Grill heat: medium-high
In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir in scallions; set aside.
Place sweet potato slices in a medium saucepan and cover with 1-inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes can be pierced with a paring knife with little resistance, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes. Brush potatoes all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Rub corn all over with butter and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place potatoes, corn, and poblano pepper on grill. Cook potatoes until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Cook corn for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Cook poblano until charred all over, about 15 minutes. Remove potatoes and corn to cutting board. Place poblano pepper in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch dice, transfer to large bowl. Cut corn kernels off cob and transfer to bowl with potatoes. Remove charred skin, stem, and seeds from poblano pepper and discard. Finely dice pepper and transfer to bowl with potatoes and corn.
Pour dressing over potatoes, corn, and pepper. Toss to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.