March is such an odd month. It feels desperately like it ought to be spring, but somehow there’s a blizzard and it’s -16°C outside. There are some good things about this: it gives you a chance to squeeze in all those snowball fights and skating parties that you’ve been meaning to have but never quite gotten around to. On the whole, though, it feels suspiciously like winter is mocking you. It has brought you to your knees in December and January, fooled you with some warm weather in February, and stabbed you in the back.
One of my roommates recently had a birthday and received a pot of yellow narcissi. I feel this is the perfect response to winter’s cruelty. Whatever the thermometer may say to the contrary, it is spring inside!
March being such an odd month, it is only appropriate to share a recipe for an odd vegetable.
I’ve always found sweet potatoes somewhat amusing. They have such honest, homely faces, rather like their namesake potatoes. But they seem out of place coming into season in the fall and winter: they’re so bright and colorful that they seem they really ought to be a part of summer, ready for sweet potato fries on the barbecue in long, lazy days.
Or maybe I’m just an odd person!
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Goat Cheese, Apple, and Kale
Inspired by one of Cynthia Lair’s inimitable recipes. This is good on its own or with rice—black rice is a particularly stunning contrast to the orange sweet potato and white goat cheese. Leftovers make a lovely cold lunch.
- 1 sweet potato, cut into half-inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 tsp butter
- 1/2 tart apple, such as a Cortland, cut into half-inch slivers
- 4 leaves of kale, cut into strips
- 2 T raisins
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 oz. mild goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the sweet potato in a baking dish and sprinkle the spices over it. Drizzle on the olive oil and toss well. Put the dish in the oven and roast the sweet potato, stirring occasionally, until it’s tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a small sauté pan. Add the apples and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes. Add the raisins and kale and continue to cook until the kale is tender.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and toss in the kale and apple mixture and the vinegar. Serve, sprinkling half the goat cheese over each portion.