Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and Almonds

by Food Hound on August 14, 2013

in Salads, Sides

Post image for Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and Almonds

Something many people do not know about me is that I like musicals.  Not musicals as in Broadway shows, but musicals as in musical movies, where there are 5 or 6 songs worked into the movie wherever the characters feel the need to sing.  I would rather be strung up by my toenails 525,600 times than be forced to watch ‘Rent,’ (true ‘Renties’ have to give respect for that reference) but if ‘Hello Dolly!’ starts a-playin’, I’m a-singin’.  ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Meet Me In St. Louis,’ ‘Guys and Dolls….’ I’m comfortable admitting that these movies occasionally find their way onto my Netflix list when the Booze Hound travels.

Without fail, people follow up my admission with: ‘I just don’t understand why they just erupt into song in the middle of a conversation.’  Well, I’ll tell you why.

They just ate Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and Almonds.

This salad hits every level of amazing texture and flavor x a million.  It might lead to spontaneous singing… it might not… but I guar-on-tee you will love love love it.

Sweet potato salads are kind of tricky because you need to have something to play up the natural sweetness of the potato, but you have to have all the savory components of regular potato salad.  Cinnamon takes care of the sweetness, the onion + garlic + egg are reminiscent of the traditional stuff, and the almonds and BAAAACCCCONNNN make it so unique and so awesome.  Almonds and BAAAACCCCONNNN.  Just in case you missed it the first time.

I know I have a huge sweet-potato-loving readership, and while no one in their right mind will ever get sick of sweet potato chips or fries, this salad brings the sexy back.

Almonds and BAAAACCCCONNNN!!!!

Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and Almonds
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and ¾" diced
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 8 slices thick-cut, smoked bacon
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped (or use sliced almonds, toasted)
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled and diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes, olive oil, and a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil, and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, combine the mayonnaise, cinnamon, garlic powder, ½ t salt and ¼ t pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine, and set aside.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes finish roasting, remove from oven and increase the oven temp to 400 F. Scoop the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and pour in the mayonnaise mixture. Stir well and let cool slightly. (Dressing the sweet potatoes while still warm means they absorb more of the dressing).
  5. Once the oven reaches 400 F, lay the bacon slices on the parchment-lined roasting pan (lay them either directly on the pan or on a wire cooling rack set inside the pan, which is what I do). Roast the bacon for about 25 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, dice and add to the sweet potatoes.
  6. Lastly, add the red onion, almonds and eggs to the sweet potato mixture. Stir very well, and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors meld. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. OH SO GOOD.
Notes
This is not the quickest of salads, but it's not hard, and you can play with the timing. For example, you can roast both the sweet potatoes and the bacon at the same time (on different racks) at 400 F and just know that the sweet potatoes will cook a little faster. Or vice versa and use 375 F but the bacon might crisp a little more slowly. Either way- saves you some time! I like the hard boiled egg, but I HATE HATE HATE peeling eggs, so I might leave it out next time. It's not like you don't have enough amazing happening in the recipe without the egg. The good news is that this gets better as it sits, so you can make it early in the day for a party and be all set.

 

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