crispy spring garlic + yam salad

sometimes ideas of recipes come to me.  other times i need to search high and low for inspiration.  i really don’t like making something just to make it.  i prefer to be inspired by an ingredient, or an idea.  usually these ideas get stuck in my head until i figure them out. having gluten and dairy intolerances can get in the way of making an ordinary recipe, but that is part of the fun.  i love finding interesting recipes, making substitutions, and producing something that is within the confines of what my body can tolerate.  i really take joy in finding ways of making food tasty and yummy and the best i can possibly make it.   having this blog has let me be creative in so many ways that i wouldn’t have been in my non-blog life.  big thanks to supportive people out there.

i’ve been making a lot of recipes lately revolving around ingredients that i see at the farmer’s markets.  i never saw myself as someone who cooks only with what is in season.  however, i’m finding that one ingredient can inspire an entire dish if you you let it.  the ingredient of choice this time around was spring garlic.  i thought they were so beautiful, and i immediately had recipes running through my head.  the spring garlic has a similar taste and smell to garlic cloves, but the texture is more onion-like.  i’ve sautéed them, roasted them, and eaten them raw (i encourage only people who really love garlic to do this), all yielding awesome results.


crispy spring garlic + yam salad

inspired by Adina Niemerow – Food & Wine, March 2012

serves 2

1 large white yam or sweet potato, cut into 2-by-1/3- inch sticks

1 1/2 cups miner’s lettuce (you can substitute mung sprouts, or adzuki sprouts,or any other seasonal sprout)

2 cups packed lettuce greens

1 small cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch dice

6 stalks spring garlic, bulbs finely sliced, greens discarded (scallions will work too)

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

3 tablespoons olive oil

large grain sea salt


// dressing

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons low sodium tamari

1/2 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil


// directions

pre heat oven to 375°

line a baking sheet with parchment paper

in a bowl, toss the potato sticks with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil (use more if needed), and a couple pinches of large grain salt.  turn out onto baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned – flip them over every 10-15 minutes. remove and let cool

while the potatoes are baking, heat a skillet on medium.  coat pan with olive oil.  add sliced garlic, and sauté until crispy – about 8 minutes. remove from heat and drain the garlic on a paper towel to remove excess oil

in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, balsamic, tamari, and honey with the olive oil

in a large bowl, combine the lettuces, cucumbers, crispy garlic, baked yams, and sliced avocado with the dressing.  sprinkle with seed mixture, serve and enjoy



28 thoughts on “crispy spring garlic + yam salad

  1. I love the combination of hot and cold here. I’m in upstate NY and the garlic scape people at our farmers’ market told me that she’s not expecting young garlic until June 😦 *sigh* Would you recommend substituting plain old garlic, or perhaps shallots?

  2. YUM! This looks amazing. I totally feel ya on the recipe creativity bit. I guess that’s why farmer’s markets are so amazing for me too. I always just feel like they pull me in a way stuff at the super market just doesn’t. Either way, this salad is totally inspired.

    • thanks, that’s really nice. i wish i lived on the west coast sometimes, i feel like there’s always fresh produce throughout the entire year. is it just the area you live in that doesn’t have a farmer’s market?

      • Yeah…there is a farmer’s market but it starts in June and only goes up to September or October. Seattle has plenty of them though and they’re already open for the season. You’re right though about this coast. California especially is so very spoiled.

  3. This salad looks fresh and yummy! 🙂 I know what you mean about getting problem is they usually come in spurts. I get really excited and just want to spend days cooking/baking which isn’t possible with school and work…urrr.

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