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Sweet Potato Salad with Cumin, Smoked Paprika, and Almonds

A sweet potato dish the epitomizes the healthfulness of the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet has long been lauded for its healthfulness. Even more so, when the emphasis is on plant-based foods with meat a mere supporting player.

The new cookbook, “More Mediterranean: 225+ New Plant-Forward Recipes Endless Inspiration for Eating Well” by America’s Test Kitchen, of which I received a review copy, will definitely get you off to favorable start in this new year with a host of recipes that highlight grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, tofu, tempeh, and measured amounts of animal proteins.

Do a body good with dishes such as “Lavash Pizza with Cauliflower, Fennel, and Coriander,” “Shawarma-Spiced Tofu Wraps with Sumac Onions,” “Baked Shrimp and Orzo with Feta and Tomatoes,” and “Lamb Chops with Tamarind Pan Sauce.”

“Sweet Potato Salad with Cumin, Smoked Paprika, and Almonds” is a dish you’ll want to make again and again this winter and spring.

Cubed sweet potatoes are roasted in a hot oven. They are left to cool before being tossed in a punchy dressing of lime juice, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and plenty of fresh, chopped scallions that comes together in seconds. Toasted almonds and cilantro leaves are strewn overtop to complete this straightforward dish with big, bold flavors.

A jumble of textures, spices and flavors makes this an unforgettable dish.

The taste transports you to Morocco with its warm, sunny spices. The sweet potatoes are tender, creamy, and caramelized against the backdrop of crunchy nuts, fresh herbs, and sweet, smoky, peppery flavors.

Because it’s a salad served at room temperature, it’s an ideal potluck dish — if you’re gathering safely with friends and family in this new year.

Since it doesn’t have to be served warm or hot, you also can make it first and let it sit out while you prepare the rest of your meal at home. The sweet potato salad makes a substantial side dish to most any roasted or grilled meat or seafood. Or enjoy it as a light lunch or supper on its own with crusty bread.

Soft, caramelized cubes of sweet potatoes with smoky paprika, cumin, and toasted almonds.

Sweet Potato Salad with Cumin, Smoked Paprika, and Almonds

(Serves 6)

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons table salt

3 scallions, sliced thin

3 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)

1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped coarse

1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil and salt, then transfer to rimmed baking sheet and spread into even layer. Roast until potatoes are tender and just beginning to brown, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. Let potatoes cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine scallions, lime juice, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, pepper, garlic, allspice, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in large bowl. Add cilantro, almonds and potatoes, and toss to combine. Serve.

Nutritional info: 309 calories, 15g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 473mg sodium, 38g total carbs, 7g dietary fiber, 8g total sugars, 5g protein

From “More Mediterranean” by America’s Test Kitchen

More Sweet Potato Recipes to Enjoy: Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake by Tanya Holland

And: Sweet Potato Tea Cake with Meringue by Tartine

And: Sheet Pan Honey-Chipotle Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

And: Ash-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle-Orange Sauce by Dorie Greenspan

And: Miso-Maple Jammed Sweet Potatoes

And: See’s Scotch Kiss Sweet Potatoes

And: Sweet Potato Orange Cups

And: Sweet Potatoes with Mojo Pican Sauce

And: Sweet Potato and Cumin Soup with Feta Yogurt