Grilled Sweetpotato Salad & Hot Bacon Dressing

Grilled Sweetpotato Salad & Hot Bacon Dressing
Food and Drink

Courtesy of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission

Grilled Sweetpotato Salad & Hot Bacon Dressing

"Skip the pecan and sweetpotato pies. Instead, combine those flavors into a succulent, flame-kissed side dish."

Serves: 6

 

for the dressing:

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon Country Dijon mustard

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon bacon grease, warm

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

for the salad:

2 ½ pounds sweetpotatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick rounds

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 slices center-cut bacon

2/3 cup sliced scallions, about 10–12 scallions

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips and packed in oil

1/3 cup toasted pecans

1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

For the Dressing: Preheat oven to 200°F. In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain and reserve the grease. Crumble the bacon and set aside for the salad. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease until the dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in the oven.

For the Salad: Heat up the grill with areas for both indirect and direct cooking. 

Using a brush, lightly coat the sweetpotato rounds with olive oil or put them in a resealable plastic bag, add the oil, and massage to coat all the surfaces. Just before putting the sweetpotatoes on the grill, season them liberally with salt.

Place the rounds directly on the cooking grate over direct heat. Grill until well-marked, about 3 minutes on each side.

Move to indirect heat. Finish cooking, turning halfway through, until soft and tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove from the grill. Immediately cut into quarters and place in a large bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing to the bowl and toss with the sweetpotatoes until just coasted. Add the crumbled bacon, scallions, sundried tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese. Drizzle a little more dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately while warm or at room temperature. 

Oven Alternative: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a rack onto a baking sheet. Place sweetpotato rounds onto the rack and season well with salt. Bake until tender and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes.