It might seem really odd that I’m calling this a salad however, as with other Moroccan salads, it’s very common to have cooked dishes that are called salads. These are served on small plates along with the main dish and meant to be shared.
This one is a little less common and I’ve found sweet potatoes while available in Morocco are not widely used. They’re called patata halwa here and are different from their cousins found in the US. The outer skin are usually purple while the interior flesh is white. When they cook they don’t become as creamy and aren’t as sweet as the North American version.
But, it’s that consistency that makes them a good choice for this salad. I haven’t had great luck roasting them but when boiled and cooked into a simple salad like this, I really enjoy them.
I think this pairs really well with meat dishes like beef or lamb tajines. Try this beef and green bean tajine or lamb and eggplant tajine for pairing. It’s also a great addition to a Moroccan-inspired Thanksgiving table.
Sweet Potato and Saffron Salad
A sweet and savory Moroccan salad made using sweet potatoes.
- 2-3 large sweet potatoes
- 4 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 small piece of cinnamon bark
- 7-8 threads of saffron
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
- 3-4 springs each cilantro and parsley chopped
Wash and peel sweet potatoes into pieces that are all roughly the same size. Ideally they are about 1 inch in size.
Boil the sweet potatoes in water until they are tender and drain any excess water.
In the pan add the olive oil or butter as well as the garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric and paprika and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm up the spices and mix the flavors.
Crumble the saffron slightly in your hand and add to the butter (this helps release the flavor).
Return the drained potatoes to the pan and gently mix so that they are covered completely.
Top with the chopped parsley and cilantro - use as much or little as you like.