All you need is a grill pan to take the smoky flavors of summer grilling indoors for fall—well, a grill pan and this outstanding recipe from chef Andrew Zimmerman's new globally inspired Chicago restaurant Proxi. It's fancy enough for a dinner party but simple enough to pull off on a weeknight, as all the components can be made while the sweet potatoes roast. It also makes for a nice addition to your Thanksgiving dinner table, if you're the type to plan ahead.
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
Recipe adapted from Andrew Zimmerman, Proxi, Chicago IL
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
For the Sesame Yogurt
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons tahini
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
For the Soy-Ginger Dressing
½ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup white soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons grated ginger
For the Cashew Dukkah
½ cup cashews, roughly chopped
1 cup cashews, ground
½ cup toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons coriander, toasted and ground
1½ teaspoons cumin, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon nigella seeds, whole
¼ teaspoon sumac
¼ teaspoon salt
For the Sweet Potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup orange segments, diced
¼ cup lime segments, diced
2 cups watercress
¼ cup scallions, white and some green parts, thinly sliced, soaked in water and drained
⅓ cup cilantro leaves
1 to 2 fresno chiles, seeded, sliced into thin rings
¼ teaspoon ground sumac
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roast the sweet potatoes until just tender, about 40 minutes. A cake tester or knife should meet a hint of resistance, but not much—they will keep cooking from their own heat and you'll be grilling them before serving. Let cool, then peel and slice the potatoes into ½-inch slices.
2. Meanwhile, make the sesame yogurt: Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.
3. Make the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Make the dukkah: Combine all the ingredients together in a small, dry container and set aside.
5. Heat a grill pan (or start a wood or charcoal fire). Lightly brush the sweet potatoes with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Put them on the hot pan and cool until they have grill marks on one side, then flip and repeat on the other side, about 5 minutes each side. Remove from the grill and place into a bowl.
6. Add the watercress, scallions and cilantro to a bowl, and dress with some of the dressing. Add a heaping tablespoon of sesame yogurt to each serving plate, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. Top with the sweet potatoes, citrus segments, greens, chiles, dukkah and sumac, then serve.