Moroccan Sweet-Potato Salad

Moroccan Sweet-Potato Salad
Recipe by Laura B. Russell, Published in The Oregonian May 20, 2008
Makes 6 servings

A delicious marinade known as charmoula often flavors fish and vegetable dishes in the Moroccan kitchen. With a bit of olive oil mixed in, the charmoula becomes a tasty vinaigrette. Try it on grilled fish or chicken as well. In addition to being full of flavor, diced sweet potatoes cook in a hurry. Keep a close eye on them:

A few extra minutes in the oven may leave their texture a bit on the soft side.

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2½ pounds total), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
¾ teaspoon salt (divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
⅓ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted (see note)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and cook, stirring once, until tender, about 15 minutes. Keep warm in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make the charmoula by combining the garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, lemon juice and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil and then add the parsley and cilantro.
Gently combine the roasted sweet potatoes with the charmoula and the toasted almonds. Serve at room temperature. If made ahead of time, refrigerate, then allow to come to room temperature before serving. Note: To toast nuts, spread on baking sheet and bake in 350-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until they start to brown.

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