The other fun part of it is the food. It's great to see what everyone's specialties are. There is always so much to try and it's hard to make a choice and it's hard to try it all, even though you want to.
Kevin and I were assigned to bring a salad. He was skeptical of that. His reaction was that they forget when they send out the invites that we have a long way to travel and can't be transporting perishable salads. We were planning to just buy some soda to contribute to the beverage table.
Then I thought about it. Salads don't have to be perishable. Tamar Adler defines a salad as "Anything cooked or raw, cut up a little, mixed firmly with acid, salt and a little fat, laid carefully onto a plate, or spooned nicely into a bowl." Surely I could make something like that to take to the party.
I decided on sweet potatoes. They are sturdy and keep well. I mixed them into a cold potato salad with black beans, tomatoes, and red onion and then made a dressing of lime juice, chipotle, honey, cumin, and cilantro.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes - red and yellow if you can get them
- Juice of two limes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chipotle powder
- 2 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbl honey
- 1/2 cup olive oil
In a small bowl combine lime juice, cumin, chipotle powder, cilantro and honey. Slowly stream in the olive oil and whisk vigorously until a good emulsion has formed.
Place potatoes, beans, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Allow to sit a few hours before serving so flavors can really meld.