Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet Potato Salad ala Ritz Carlton

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 I love weddings.  Such love and happiness abound, and everyone is all dressed up and the food, the dancing and the dresses...  We went to a wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Reynolds Plantation, GA, a fairytale wedding for sure.  A good size, like 250, outside on a gorgeous spring evening with the dresses fluttering in the breeze, the sun sparkling on Lake Oconee, it was right out of a magazine.  And it makes for great family photos!

After the ceremony we headed indoors for hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, dinner and dancing.  The food was amazing, but one thing stood out.   Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette.  Yum.  I buy sweet potatoes every week, no matter the season.  I love them baked, mashed, roasted with salt, spicy even the sweet kind with the candied pecans, and especially the pretty purple ones!  But I have never had them with a vinaigrette, but they are now in the summer salad rotation!  I had to improvise the recipe, and I think it is pretty close.

Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

1 1/2# sweet potatoes
3 slices thick bacon
3 T olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 yellow onion, diced
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Boil the potatoes, skin on until a knife pierces them easily.  Rinse in cool water and peel and cube.  Toss into serving bowl.  I am thinking that peeling, cubing and then boiling would be easier, but I am certain this is how theirs was made judging by the rough pieces of potato.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in small fry pan until crispy, remove from pan and blot with paper towels and coarsely chop. Set aside.

Drain excess bacon drippings and add olive oil and heat up again and cook the yellow inions until they start to color.  Add the sherry vinegar to hot pan, and add bacon back in.  Pour warm dressing over the potatoes, top with scallions and parsley and mix well.

Unlike regular potato salad which is delicious warm, I think this is better cooled off a bit.  But believe me, we tasted it in every form, and I ate the leftovers for breakfast.  It is that good!
So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and cook!

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