Jane’s Kitchen: Sweet Potato Sunshine Salad 

By Laura Wright, The First Mess


1 1/2 pounds mini sweet potatoes 

2 medium carrots, peeled + small diced (I used some heirloom purple ones for color contrast) 

2 orange or yellow bell peppers, seeded and diced into 3/4 inch-ish pieces 

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes any color, cut in half 

1/2 small red onion, sliced thin 

1/2 to 1 cup cooked chickpeas 

1 big handful cilantro or parsley leaves, rough chopped 

1 healthy sprig of mint, leaves chopped 

1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped 

salt + pepper 

2 pitted dates, soaked in hot water for at least 5 minutes 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1 teaspoon dijon mustard 

1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled + chopped 

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 

1/8 teaspoon chili flakes 

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 


Make the dressing: combine the soaked dates (reserving the water), olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, chopped ginger, ground coriander, chili flakes, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in an upright blender. Blend on high, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. Add a couple spoonfuls of the date soaking water to get the blade moving, if necessary. You want it totally pureed and almost creamy. I ended up using about 2 tablespoons of the water. Check the vinaigrette for seasoning, adjust, and set aside. 


Place the mini sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer the sweet potatoes until they’re nice and tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes and place them in an ice bath to cool them down quickly. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1 inch-ish pieces-kind of like how you would for a potato salad. 


Place cut sweet potatoes in a large bowl along with the diced carrots, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, chickpeas, cilantro, and mint. Season all of the vegetables with lots of salt and pepper. Add the date vinaigrette to the bowl and toss the vegetables and chickpeas to coat. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top and serve.