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Grilled Sweetpotato Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, Blue Cheese & Pecans

Tossed with hot bacon dressing, tangy blue cheese and crunchy pecans, this Sweetpotato Salad is a classic dish with a savory twist! Taking your taste buds from sweet to tangy to creamy, everyone will beg for seconds, and thirds! Enjoy this tasty sweetpotato salad as a side to your favorite barbecue ribs, with a deli sandwich or plated next to a piece of juicy, roasted chicken. Recipe by Elizabeth Karmel for the NCSPC
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Ingredients

  • Hot Bacon Dressing:
  • 6 slices center-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Country Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease, warm
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Sweetpotato Salad:
  • 2-1/2 pounds sweetpotatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup sliced scallions, about 10-12 scallions
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil and cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

  • To make the dressing: Preheat oven to 200° In a skillet, cook bacon until crispy; drain and reserve grease. Crumble bacon and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard; slowly whisk in olive oil and 1 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease until dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in oven.
  • Using a brush, lightly coat sweetpotatoes with olive oil. Put the potatoes in a resealable plastic bag, add the oil and massage to coat all surfaces.
  • Grilling Instructions: Just before putting on the grill, season sweetpotatoes liberally with salt. Place rounds directly on the cooking grate over direct heat; grill until well-marked, about 3 minutes on each side. Move to indirect heat. Finish cooking, turning halfway through, until soft and tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove from grill. Immediately cut into quarters and remove to a large bowl.
  • Grilling Alternative: Preheat oven to 400° On a rack fitted into a baking sheet, place sweetpotato rounds and season well with salt. Bake until tender and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes. Immediately cut into quarters and remove to a large bowl.
  • To make the salad: To sweetpotatoes, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing; toss until just coasted. Add reserved bacon, scallions, sundried tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese. Drizzle a little more dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Yield: 6 servings