A sweet potato by any other name is just … a yam. Well … not exactly.
In northern America sweet potatoes are referred to as both, so if you are standing at the produce section the sign advertising sales on yams … chances are if you are in a large chain they are sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have many different skin colors and that is the main confusion between the two names. Sometimes even the same packaging will have sweet potato on one package, but on a different-colored skin type they have yam printed on it.
In Asia, Polynesia, New Zealand and Africa a yam is a yam is a yam. When you go to markets that sell these yams … wow … you can tell the difference, and they are definitely not sweet potatoes.
The first time I had a sweet potato salad was on the east coast years ago and I was hooked! I always thought sweet potatoes were only meant for Thanksgiving. Little did I know that the sweet potato was going to rise in popularity like crazy in the following years and saw different versions of making the potato on most menus.
In this recipe make sure not to slice the radishes and celery too thin, because you want that crunch. Be wary of overcooking the sweet potatoes since they will cook on their own when you take them out of the boiling water. The minute I can pierce them with a fork, I take them out of the water. It is up to you if you want to use whole grain mustard; brown or cracked mustard works well I just like the snap of the mustard seeds against my teeth.
Oh, the sweet potato … it’s not a potato. It also isn’t in the nightshade family like potatoes are, so if you know someone who doesn’t eat nightshades this is a great substitution to the old-fashioned potato salad.
Sweet Potato Salad
- 6 to 7 sweet potatoes -- peeled and quartered
- 2 bunches of radishes -- leaves and stems removed
- halved and sliced thick
- ½ cup of whole grain mustard
- 4 sticks of celery -- ends removed, sliced in half lengthwise, and then sliced
- ½ bunch of Italian parsley -- chopped coarsely
- 1 shallot -- chopped finely
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise
- Salt to taste
- Step 1 Bring a large pot of water to boil, add potatoes, and continue to boil for about 15 minutes. When you can stab with a fork remove from heat and drain. Let cool. It’s very important to get the sweet potatoes to room temperature or cooler, so they won’t spoil the mayonnaise.
- Step 2 In a large bowl add radishes, mustard, celery, parsley, shallot and mayonnaise. Stir.
- Step 3 Take cool potatoes and chop into ½-inch cubes, fold the potatoes into the salad mix and salt to taste.
- Step 4 Refrigerate.