Sweet Potato Salad

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As recently discussed in a picnic post, I have been craving hot Southern nights under the stars and daytime dining al fresco. I find that a meaningful gathering is highly prioritized in the South, providing an opportunity to relish in hospitality and warm conversation. Southern Food Fest (May 16-22) at Whole Foods, therefore, could not arrive at a better time.

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Whether local honey, greens, potatoes, fried chicken or butter, Southern cooking should be celebrated (and elevated). I took the challenge to transform a standard Southern side -- potato salad -- into a healthy and refreshing accompaniment to Gus's fried chicken.

How do you spin off traditional Southern sides? Or do you stick to the originals? Share in the comments. And join Whole Foods in their week-long, in-store celebration of Southern cookin'!

Makes 4 servings

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 vidalia onion, peeled and cut horizonally into 1-inch rings 1/4 cup sliced scallions 1 tablespoon mustard greens 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes Sea salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil, ensuring to coat evenly. Spread in an even layer on one half of the baking sheet. Add vidalia onion slices to the other half of the sheet, keeping ring layers intact. Drizzle onion with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle baking sheet with salt and pepper.

2. Bake potatoes and onions for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

3. Quarter the caramelized onions, and transfer potatoes and onions to a serving bowl. Toss with scallions, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Top with mustard greens. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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This post is made possible by Whole Foods Germantown. Thank you for being supportive of my sponsors!