Since you asked:

"Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp, to guard a title that was rich before, to gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess."

~William Shakespeare,
ca. 1595

Yup, that's us.

January 26, 2014

Sweet potato and sea vegetable salad...

This salad is another favorite dish in our house, and has its roots in our macro food traditions and my efforts to make that cuisine as palatable and somewhat mainstream for my family. The original salad was simple: diced sweet potatoes, celery, and hijiki. The sea vegetables added some good nutrients and trace minerals, and an amazing little burst of contrast.

Over the years, it has evolved, and this latest iteration included some other veggies from the fridge...slivers of scallion, finely sliced red pepper, and little chunks of sugar snap peas. I have to say I'm pleased enough with the result to make it this way from now on.

Start with a good sized sweet potato. Peel and dice into half to three quarter inch chunks. Steam until tender and set aside to cool. Slice the remaining vegetables as shown in the photo. I made an exception with the peppers, but in general I slice on a long diagonal, exposing more of the flavor and nutrients in the ingredients. Reconstitute the hijiki by putting a spoonful into a small cup of hot water. Give it a few minutes, then rinse, drain, and set aside.

Grab a small jar with a tight fitting lid and pour in one tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, two of seasoned rice vinegar, a teaspoon of toasted sesame seed, and add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Shake it up good, and then dress the combined vegetables with the mixture. You can serve it immediately at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cooled. If you want to make this into a meal salad, arugula or another bitter green would be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the potatoes, and would build this dish out nicely.

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