grilled sweet potato and green bean salad

grilled sweet potato and green bean salad

When we were first married, we moved to San Francisco. We fell madly in love with the city, even all the quirks like the fog and the naked men. Within the first year we started attending a church we really felt at home in and found ourselves immersed in a glorious community. Once a week we hosted a community group (part bible study, part hang out) that quickly became our favorite day of the week. We made friends that turned into family, we felt so at home. After living in SF for two years, we made the difficult decision to move to the south bay, about a 45 minute drive out of the city. Leaving (what felt like) our beating heart in San Francisco, we felt being closer to our jobs and my husband’s family would be the best thing for us as we planned to start a family. Even now, if you ask me if it was the right choice to leave the city, I don’t know that I could give you an honest answer. I want to believe moving was the right thing to do but that beating heart aches for those steep streets.

Life in the south bay is different. It’s slow and calm. Rarely do I ever hear our neighbors and there are few people who look like they are in need. Everyone is an engineer and has 2.5 kids. There are pools and backyards and strip malls. KFC, Burger King and Taco Bell are within walking distance as well as Big Lots and Lucky.  Starbucks is the closest thing to coffee and mediocre deep dish pizza fills in the gap on a desperately lazy evening. Our condo complex is like a silent secret garden with new and interesting people popping up all around us. There are four different couples in our immediate block who have children under the age of one year old. The neighbors across the way have a very friendly cat and a dog who will reluctantly warm up to you. The couple a few doors down has a little girl who will melt your heart. Less than two miles away, O has his grandpa, grandma, nana and papa. We have a group of friends we meet with on Wednesdays that have committed to navigate through life together as we all start to grow our families and learn what it means to follow Jesus within the craziness of this life.  Our condo is large with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We even have a dishwasher.

As I watch Oliver grow and learn, smile and giggle, I realize that being close to family is important. There are all these people around who love him (and us) and want to share that with him. While San Francisco has it’s own charm (including one of my sisters), I can say I’m starting to warm up to life in the slow lane. I don’t know that my whole heart will ever be here, because I’m not convinced I can completely shake the adoration I hold for the city, but most of it feels very blessed to live where we do. To be able to make a quick dinner for nana and papa with little notice because we are lucky enough that they were literally ‘in the neighborhood’, makes me so happy. I hope that our son can grow up appreciating community like we have been fortunate enough to experience. Whether that’s in the city or the suburbs, it is integral to the satisfaction of our souls and fulfills in us something we were meant to long for.

For a quick dinner, use this salad as a spring board for whatever you have on hand at the time. You can replace the sweet potato with russet potatoes, or butternut squash. The green beans could be replaced by asparagus or quickly sautéed zucchini. The feta could be goat cheese or even blue cheese for the adventurers out there. Bacon or crisp pancetta would be an excellent addition or add shredded chicken and some brown rice to bulk this up to a complete one bowl dinner.

grilled sweet potato and green bean salad
serves 8

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium sweet potato sliced into 1/2″ rounds
  • 1 pound green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper

Preparation: 

  1. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of salted water to boil. In a medium sauce pan, bring six cups of salted water to boil.
  2. Place the ears of corn in the medium sauce pan and cover. Turn off the heat and let the corn sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside to cool.
  3. Boil the green beans in the large pot for about a minute, until you see them start to turn bright green. Immediately remove from the pot and run under cold water to stop them from cooking any more. Set aside.
  4. Place a steamer basket in the large pot and bring the water to a boil again, making sure the water is not touching the basket. Steam the sweet potatoes until just about tender about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the grill to high.
  5. Once the potatoes are steamed slightly, brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on high heat until lightly charred and cooked through. About another 8-10 minutes. Cut into wedges.
  6. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil with the mustard, lemon juice, a  large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
  7. Cut the corn off the ears and place in a large bowl. Add the green beans, sweet potatoes, feta, red onion and parsley. Toss with the olive oil mixture. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
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July 26, 2013. salads, sides, summer, vegetarian.

4 Comments

  1. silverscreenings replied:

    Reader Request: Could you add a Pinterest pin to your blog? Then we readers can easily add your fab recipes to our boards. 🙂

    • Rachel Logan replied:

      Yes! Great idea. Just need to figure how to do it! Ha!

  2. cottonandsilk replied:

    SCRUMPTIOUS!!!! I have always been hesitant to try new recipes if I didn’t have all the ingredients the first go round …. I definitely like to play around with recipes, but always like to start out with the original. This time …. I had a lot of veggies fresh from my garden so just worked with what I had … a few green beans … but, mostly wax beans, and tiny red potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. I didn’t quite have enough of the beans and potatoes so added an extra ear of corn (which was the sweetest of the season YUMMY). I threw in a handful of dried cranberries for an extra bit of color. The recipe was easy to follow …………. Though I recommend reading it all the way through to avoid errors (I steamed the potatoes to long not realizing grilling was next up!) Also, what I learned was the importance of “thoroughly” cleaning the silk off the cob (I ended up with silk in my “taste tester bowl”). I can’t wait to share this recipe with my veggie lover friends!!!!!!

    • Rachel Logan replied:

      Aw Sandi I’m so glad you liked it! Your additions sound so yummy! Great job improvising. 🙂

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