In New Zealand, sweet potato is also known by its Maori name, kumara. In this recipe, sweet potatoes are roasted and served with a crisp romaine lettuce salad.
You can use any kind of nuts in this salad. For instance, macadamias, almonds, or pistachios all add some protein to the meal.
- 1 large kumara or sweet potato (peeled and diced into cubes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (for drizzling on kumara to roast)
- Pinch salt
- For the Salad:
- 6 leaves romaine lettuce (chopped)
- 8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 4 radishes (sliced)
- Handful crumbled feta cheese
- Handful pine nuts
- Dash extra-virgin olive oil for salad
- Dash balsamic vinegar for salad
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
Roast the Sweet Potato
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Place the sweet potato in a baking dish and drizzle with nonpremium olive oil. Sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Roast for 25 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool when done.
Make the Salad
Gather the ingredients.
Arrange lettuce, tomatoes, and radishes in a serving bowl. Add the cooled cubes of roasted sweet potato. Sprinkle on some feta cheese and pine nuts.
Finally, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. Lemon juice also works well. Adjust the seasonings with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
More About New Zealand Sweet Potatoes
There are four main varieties of tropical sweet potato, known as kumara, grown in New Zealand— the orange (Beauregard), red (Owairaka), gold (Toka Toka), and Purple Dawn, although new varieties are being introduced all the time.
The most popular of these is the Owairaka red, with its distinctive red skin and creamy white, firm-textured flesh, as opposed to the red flesh of American varieties. It is a direct descendant of the American sweet potato and is believed to have been introduced to New Zealand in the 1850s by American whaling ships. However, archaeological diggings in New Zealand that have revealed kumara cultivation from very early pre-European Maori times beg to differ.
New Zealanders enjoy kumara in traditional ways—baked, mashed, and deep-fried—but also stuffed with cheese, baked in a gratin that is layered with sliced onion, garlic, and heavy cream, or in curries or soups. It also is popular in a dish called hangi, which is a combination of meat and vegetables slow-cooked all day in an underground oven.