Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crunchy Sweet Potato Salad Topping

(pictured: baked sweet potato threads cooling on a silpat lined baking sheet)

Salads are a staple in our house and we eat even more of them in the summer when the farmers' market is full of yummy local produce. I love recipes that have a mix of textures, cold, crisp, soft and crunchy. Croutons are wonderful, but they don’t add much nutrition even if they are whole wheat and baked. I was thinking of what I could add to our salad that would be crunchy and good for us, and this idea popped into my head. It worked better than I expected and will become a regular technique in my kitchen.

I used sweet potatoes today because they are so nutritious. Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants which we all need more of in our diet. Since this experiment was so successful I will be using different vegetables with similar techniques to see what else works. I will add additional posts as I make different versions.

Crunchy Sweet Potato Salad Topping
Makes 2 servings


¾ of a large sweet potato
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment or a silpat.

Cut the sweet potato thinly on your mandolin fitted with the crinkle blade. Toss the sweet potato strips with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a little salt and pepper for flavor.

Bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, toss the potatoes and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet and store in an airtight container at room temperature until you need them. I used them at room temperature on my salad as a crunchy topping. Please note the sweet potatoes will become crunchier as they cool.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 62.84
Calories From Fat (32%) - 20.21

Total Fat - 2.29g
Saturated Fat - 0.32g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 172.38mg
Potassium - 169.38mg
Total Carbohydrates - 10.07g
Fiber - 1.57g
Sugar - 2.04g
Protein - 0.81g


These little crispy and crunchy sweet potato threads exceeded my expectations. I love the flavor and especially the texture they add to a salad. I can’t wait to try more versions of this technique with different vegetables and flavors. It is so nice to have a crunchy topping for a salad that isn’t a crouton, or nuts.

My husband refers to my kitchen as area 51, due to all my experiments. All I can say is area 51 is gearing up for many more crunchy veggie experiments. Hmmmmm, I wonder how turnip or beets would be as baked chips………. I see another experiment or two on the horizon.

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