I was invited to a college reunion, pot-luck dinner party, cook out with a group of about 15 friends, former roommates, their spouses, significant others – many of whom I’d not seen in decades.
During the week leading up to evening the flurry of emails began with who was bringing what. There was a Korean steak bar-b-que with various relishes in lettuce cups, a Cajun style chicken wing dish, a gorgeous cheese & charcuterie spread from Todd English’s Food Hall in The Plaza, blistered shiso peppers, toasted breads, crackers, a baked fish, jalapeno mojito’s, & a lavender & citrus cocktail w/crushed ice – I liked very much.
When I wrote to say I was going to bring my sweet potato & hericot vert salad I got two emails back, almost immediately, expressing what a perfect dish this would be to have at our fete. The dish is so colorful, with varied textures and wonderful fresh & earthy flavors, sweet & savory, smooth & crunchy. I brought enough to fill one bowl with just the vinaigrette version and the other I folded the yogurt into. To me, the dish was the belle of the ball.
3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1” chunks
Salt, as needed to taste
1 T raw or coconut sugar
1 shallot, minced
½ cup golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of spicy mustard
¼ cup olive oil
a handful of chiffinade basil leaves
½ pound hericot vert
Black pepper, to taste (I like a lot)
¾ cup of Greek yogurt
I started by making the vinaigrette to marinate the hericot vert in. In a bowl, mix the shallots, vinegar, olive oil and spicy mustard together. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the basil leaves, add the hericot vert which are cut into 1 inch pieces. Let stand with a kitchen or a tea towel on top to marinate.
Put the cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil. As the water heats up add enough salt to make the water taste almost salty then the Tablespoon of sugar. Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the potatoes cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
When the potatoes are tender, drain them from the water and put in a large bowl. While still hot, fold in the green beans vinaigrette. The longer the potatoes marinate in the dressing – the better.