As a Californian, both Japanese and Mexican ingredients have a huge influence on my menus. And this dish is no exception.
I would compare this to a taco salad, but it really has little to do with your typical taco. You won’t find any meat or crema in this vegan recipe!
However, putting black beans and corn together in a dish with some tortilla chips crumbled on top, the comparison is clear. But the shining stars here are, in fact, roasted sweet potato and homemade miso dressing.
You’ve got it all: sweet and salty, crunchy and leafy, spicy, hearty, and fresh. In the warm weather, I love serving dishes like this for dinner, slow roasting the veggies on the grill after the sun has gone down and the heat of the day has begun to dissipate. But you could really make this at any time of year, on the stove or even in the oven.
The combination of fresh and roasted ingredients in a salad is key, to get that perfect mixture of flavors and textures. And don’t forget all of the awesome vitamins!
For a touch of added visual interest, I love the combination here of red and yellow cherry tomatoes that I found at the farmers market. These were very similar in flavor, but they add a bright pop of color. We eat with our eyes first, after all!
Here’s the plan:
Cut your sweet potato into small pieces, either scrubbed well or peeled. Cook ’em up on the stove (or on a griddle pan on the grill) until they’re almost blackened on all sides.
The natural sugars in the root vegetables make them caramelize and darken quickly on the outside, but you don’t want them to burn. Cutting them small will help to ensure that they cook all the way through.
Toss with cherry tomatoes, pile on top of a bed of greens, and drizzle some spicy and umami-rich miso dressing on top. Ta-da!
Oh yeah. Don’t forget the chips. Really, don’t.
The blue corn ones are my favorite in terms of color and texture, but whatever variety you choose, they’re the perfect topping for a bit of added crunch. If you won’t be serving your salad right away, wait to put all of the elements together until the last minute, so the leaves won’t wilt and the chips won’t become soggy.Print
A delicious vegan, veggie-packed recipe that’s reminiscent of a taco salad. The roasted sweet potato and spicy miso dressing are the stars of this dish! This is the perfect dinner for a warm summer night.
For the Salad:
- 1 ear corn, cooked (see note)
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 15-oz can black beans
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups lightly packed spinach
- 1/4 cup crumbled tortilla chips
For the Dressing:
- Cook the corn using your favorite method. See the note below for ours.
- Peel (if desired) and cut the sweet potatoes into a small 1-centimeter dice. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan placed over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stiffing often, until browned on all sides and soft throughout, about 25 minutes. Turn the heat down if necessary, to avoid burning on the outside before they are cooked through.
- While the sweet potatoes cook, make the dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain and rinse the black beans in a colander, and add them to the pan. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add them as well. Stir occasionally over medium heat for a few minutes, to heat through. Remove from the heat, and fold in the halved tomatoes.
- Divide the spinach equally between two salad plates (or four, if using as a side dish) and divide the potato mixture equally on top. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with crumbled tortilla chips.
Fill a pot with enough water to fully submerge the corn, and soak in the husk (i.e. not shucked) for 15-20 minutes. Grill over high heat for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Let cool before shucking.
Whether you’re looking for a meal to serve your friends on Cinco de Mayo or a vegetarian side to add to a potluck barbecue, this dish is a winner. And part of the beauty of it is, once you’ve got the technique down, you can switch things up with whatever beans or veggies you have on hand.
Where will you serve this delicious summer salad? Share with us in the comments below, and don’t forget to give this recipe a rating while you’re there.
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Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 18th, 2014. Last updated: January 7, 2019 at 23:12 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).