Anyone down here in south Florida will agree, we have morphed from the cool sweetness of spring to the sweltering heat of summer. Now is the time I send my husband out to the grill with a tray heaped on one side with marinated flank steak, boneless chicken breasts or thick tuna steaks. The other half of the tray is covered with skewered grape tomatoes, corn rubbed with olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper and red pepper wedges also drizzled with olive oil. My contribution to this meal is prepared in the conditioned air comfort of my kitchen. Roasted sweet potato, parsley and gorgonzola salad is ideal for summer dinners as it can be prepared the night before serving or in the morning when the temperature has not begun its intolerable climb. This salad is cool and light yet has heft. You will not feel hunger pangs an hour or two after eating it. Oh, no. Not with this salad.
It marries well with grilled and/or spicy flavors…especially spicy heat. The sweet potatoes tame the flames of cayenne, harissa, serrano and scotch bonnet. I’m crazy about the clean, lemony flavor the parsley leaves impart. Aside from being good-looking, the green leaves cut through the richness of the sweet potatoes and gorgonzola with a cleansing, citrusy flavor. It also travels well making it a favorite for picnics at the beach, concerts in the park or poolside dinners while we’re wrapped in cotton towels heavy with dampness and enjoy those last rays of sunlight at 8:00 at night. Take it outside and enjoy the beginning of summer!
Roasted Sweet Potato, Parsley and Gorgonzola Salad
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 small garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to your liking
- Place olive oil, vinegar and garlic into a bender, magic bullet or mini food processor and process until smooth.
- Taste for salt and pepper and add to your liking.
- Chill until serving.
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, that’s about 5 large potatoes
- 2 small sweet onions, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only
- Pre-heat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Add the onions, salt and pepper and olive oil to bowl and toss well with your hands until the potatoes and onions are completely covered with the oil, salt and pepper.
- Transfer the potato mixture to the baking sheet, spreading to make an even layer.
- Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Chill until ready to serve.
- To serve add the gorgonzola cheese and parsley leaves to the salad.
- Drizzle 1/2 cup dressing over the salad and, very gently, toss to combine being careful not to smash the potatoes.
- If the salad needs more dressing, add one tablespoon at a time, gently tossing until thoroughly mixed.
- Taste for salt and pepper.