Adapted from a Yummly recipe
My sister is visiting and I always try to make something special when they come to California. Daughter Eilene brought some Nevis jerk spice back for me and I decided to try it out on some chicken. This left me with the dilemma of what to serve with the meat. Scouting around the internet for “Caribbean side dishes,” I found a recipe that met my needs.
Note: I have cut the proportions in half from what I actually made, because I made enough to feed an army, not just two extra people.
Karl’s Caribbean Sweet Potato Salad
1 large sweet potato, unpeeled
1 large plantain, green or yellow with very few spots
1 cup guava nectar
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 beefsteak tomato, seeded and diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ yellow bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. Habanero hot sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1-2 Tbs. coconut, shredded
1. Trim the ends off of the sweet potato and cut it in half (crosswise).
Tip: Leaving the peel on—while you are boiling the potato—prevents the surface of the potato from soaking up the water and turning into a mush.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add ½ tsp. of salt.
Note: You want the potato to be covered by at least one inch of water.
3. Boil the potato until tender, 15-25 minutes.
Tip: Timing depends on the thickness of your potato.
Note: Sweet potatoes are notorious for being uneven. One side is frequently much thicker then the other. By cutting the potato in half, you may remove the thinner piece—leaving the thicker have to boil until done.
4. Remove the potato from the pot and set it aside to cool completely.
5. While the potato is cooking, remove the peel from the plantain and cut it in half (crosswise).
Tip: Plantains are a very starchy fruit, but when that get really ripe they turn soft with black skins. While these are good for frying, they would fall apart if you tried to boil them.
6. Drain the pot, add fresh water, and bring it to a boil.
Tip: Do not use the same water that you boiled the potato in, unless you want your plantain to taste like sweet potato skin.
7. Add the plantain and ½ teaspoon of salt to the boiling water.
8. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.
9. Boil the plantain until tender, about 15-30 minutes.
Tip: The plantain will turn yellow when it is fully cooked.
Note: The greener the skin, the longer it will take to cook the plantain.
10. Remove the plantain from the pot and set it aside to cool completely.
11. Dice the cooled potato and plantain and put them in a large mixing bowl.
12. Pour the guava nectar over the vegetables and marinate them for half an hour.
Tip: You want to gently toss the vegetables to coat them with the nectar, but you do not want to mash them into a paste.
13. Dice the mango, tomato, and bell peppers.
14. In a separate medium bowl, whisk vinegar and sugar, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Tip: There is a reason for using two mixing bowls here. After cooking, the sweet potato and plantain will be fairly fragile—you want to stir them as little as you can manage. If you added the raw vegetables to them—before coating them with the dressing—you would end up with mashed potatoes and undressed raw vegetables.
15. Whisk in the mustard and hot sauce into the vinegar.
16. Whisk in the oil, until it is completely emulsified.
17. Add the mango, peppers and tomatoes to the medium bowl and toss to coat them with the dressing.
18. Add the raw vegetables to the sweet potato and plantain and gently toss to mix.
19. Refrigerate the salad for at least two hours before serving-to meld.
20. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and garnish with the shredded coconut.