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Typically, I hate excuses. But just as having a blog is great for my writing experience and my cooking experience, and my networking experience, sometimes all those experiences come down to nothing when the reality is that I work 12 hour shifts at times, and all those 12 hours are spent cooking. Not one minute is spent doing anything else but cooking; no writing, no ordering, no sitting down to call anyone, no nothing. And I love it. Must love it because then I come home and cook some more. AM I CRAZY?! Yes, you can say that. So, back to my excuse. I’m pretty much tired all the time and I’m busy; with life, with social media, with working with new partners and brands, with married life, with keeping up with a married life household and laundry. The excuse? This short but delicious post.

But I’ll stop whining. I do get one full day off a week and I typically spend the day in the same routine: laundry, dishes, Edgartown Library, grocery store, post office, home. I mention the library because it’s where I discovered Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers, a local cookbook author on Martha’s Vineyard.  And then I made this salad, emailed her that I was in love with it and needed to share with you, my salad loving readers. Oh, not a salad lover? Neither was I. But as you can see, this isn’t your typical salad. It’s full of flavor and texture and good for you ingredients. Go make it and bring it over to your “end of the summer potluck”, because  it’s August and we all know September is just a second away! And if you don’t want to make the salad, which is crazy, please, promise me you’ll make this dressing. This dressing is ridiculously amazing. Like, I’d trade a jar of Nutella for a jar of this dressing. I swear. It’s that good.

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Mexican Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad

Reprinted with permission from Catherine Walthers; Raising the Salad Bar, Lake Isle Press, 2007 One of our frequent outdoor vacation destinations is Bethel, Maine, home of Sunday River Ski Resort and one of our favorite eating spots: Café DiCocoa. The café’s ever-changing breakfast and lunch menu can include fresh peach scones, homemade bagels, vegetable frittatas, soups and a variety of salads, all made with fresh ingredients by a very creative chef/owner, Cathi DiCocco. One café favorite is this combo of roasted sweet potatoes, corn and black beans with a uniquely delicious chipotle-sweet chile sauce dressing. - Catherine Walthers
Print Recipe
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  • 4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Kernels from 3 to 4 ears of fresh corn or 2 cups frozen kernels
  • 2 cups cooked black beans rinsed and drained (canned is fine)
  • 3 or 4 scallions thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Chipotle-Chile Dressing
  • 1 chipotle chile from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai sweet chile sauce such as Maesri brand
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup canola oil


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375?. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato chunks with the oil to lightly coat them. Sprinkle with coriander, cumin, chile powder and salt and toss again. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until they are golden at the edges and just tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave the corn in a small amount of water for 3 to 5 minutes, or steam it for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain excess water. In a large serving bowl, combine the corn and black beans.
  • 2. To make the dressing, in a blender or food processor, place the chipotle chile, garlic and sweet chile sauce. Process until mixture is smooth. Add the lime juice and process again. With the machine running, slowly add the canola oil and process dressing until it is emulsified.
  • 3. When the sweet potatoes are done, let cool slightly and add them to the corn and beans. Add scallions and cilantro; gently toss. Pour enough dressing over the salad to just moisten the ingredients and toss again.

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  1. I am always looking for fun sweet potato recipes, and you totally have me excited for next weekend!!! Love love the flavors:-) Hugs, Terra

  2. Nice first photo Miss Nelly. This is the second potato salad I see and craving it much! 🙂

  3. I ADORE salads. I could eat a meal completely comprised of salads… in fact I have done just that 🙂 I will absolutely be making this salad!!! Yum, yum & yummy-yum.
    Thank you for yet another delicious recipe to try at home.

  4. I love bean and corn salad – I just finished one for lunch! But I LOVE this take on it, can’t way to try it.

    What is #summerofsalads2012? I mean, it’s somewhat obvious, but is it s group thing? I just looked on twitter, but it would only show me the last 5 tweets with the tag. I issued myself a salad challenge at the beginning of the summer – post 12 salads in 12 weeks – always looking for inspiration!

  5. Sounds good. For years I’ve made a sweet potato salad with cumin but I’ve never added anything else to it except a few fresh chives.

  6. that looks like my kind of salad! I know what you mean about everything piling up in your free time, but I’m glad you had time to share this gorgeous recipe with us 🙂