Recipes: Spicy Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Red Pepper Salad

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Editor’s Note: Last fall we had a chance to attend one of Deborah Goldstein’s Driven Professional’s events – a food and wine pairing evening.  The food was awesome with unusual flavors that paired wonderfully with the wines.  This was one of our favorite food tastings of the night.

Uncommon Flavors: Spicy Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Red Pepper Salad

Sweet-Potato-RecipeBy Deborah Goldstein, Founder Driven Professionals

The process of creating our wine and food pairing seminar takes more than a month, due mainly to the grueling but delicious method by which we narrow the field of wines down to the final six. In the case of Common Scents, the focus was on wine aroma and six wines are chosen!

The food recipes then begin to fall into place, originating with the arsenal of gastronomic ideas that I keep filed away in my brain from decades of trial and success. I consider the aromas, the flavors and the overall weight of the wines when composing the recipes. For instance, the two recipes provided below…. a Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Red Pepper Salad with its gourmet complementary Jalapeño Cilantro Relish, were designed to pair with a flashy, off-dry Gewurztraminer (and I think we nailed it!). Think of it as a mashed sweet potato spicy alternative, and try it at home.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Red Pepper Salad

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 jalapeños minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 can black beans, well rinsed
6 oz cilantro relish (recipe below)

Heat oil in a large fry pan. Add jalapeños and garlic. Add red pepper after a minute (when you first smell the garlic). Sautee about 4 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and combine well. Add black beans and season with salt and pepper. Add cilantro relish. Combine well and enjoy either warm or at room temperature.

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Cilantro Relish

1 large bunch cilantro, cleaned and large stems discarded
The juice of 1 fresh lime (2 oz)
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 large jalapeño, chopped
2 ½ Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Drizzle in oil and continue processing until a paste is created. Add to Sweet Potato Salad as directed above.

Deborah Goldstein is a successful restauranteur and founder of the Driven Women, a community composed to serve NYC professionals sharing the common goal of career advancement, while integrating family life and personal development.

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