Celebrate National Cookbook Month with Chef Wendy Raubenheimer
National Cookbook Month continues with the delicious and aesthetically pleasing sweet potato pecan salad! The warmth of the colors dresses up your table perfectly for fall or Thanksgiving. This salad contains fruits, nuts, and a unique blend of amazing seasonings, and is brought to you by CFCC Culinary Technician Wendy Raubenheimer.
Chef Wendy graduated from CFCC’s Culinary Arts program in 2018. In 2020, she accepted a position as an instructor in the program, where her classes included food science, culinary nutrition, and food & beverage service.
Considering the combo of seasonings used in her recipe, it’s no surprise that Chef Wendy’s favorite cookbook is “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page & Andrew Dornenborg. She is also a fan of celebrity chef Ina Garten, host of Food Network’s cooking show “Barefoot Contessa.”
Sweet Potato Pecan Salad
Yield: 5 servings
- 2 stalks of Celery – cut into 1” pieces
- two large Sweet Potatoes – peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
- ½ cup diced Red Onion
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary – minced
- 1 tsp. Ras el Hanout ***
- ½ cup Green Grapes – cut in half
- ½ cup Toasted Pecans
- ½ cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/4 cup Scallions – chopped
- ¼ cup Golden Raisins
- 1 tsp. Sherry Vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat.
- Toss the celery, sweet potatoes, and red onions with olive oil, ras el hanout, and rosemary in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the heated baking sheet and roast until the potatoes are tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
- Let the sweet potato mixture cool to room temperature before proceeding. (Or, if preparing ahead of time, cool the sweet potato mixture in the fridge, removing it 30 minutes before proceeding to allow it to come to room temperature.)
- Toss the sweet potato mixture in a large bowl with the grapes, pecans, cranberries, scallions, and raisins. Toss the salad with sherry vinegar and olive oil to taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
*** Ras el hanout is a spice mix with cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, and more. It is often called for in many Moroccan dishes. It can be purchased at retailers, or you can make your own.