In my recent quest to create a simple summer salsa I relied on three of my favorite foods – sweet potatoes, black beans, and avocados. These foods never disappoint me, no matter what recipe I put them in, so I knew they’d make a fantastic salsa. Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa is a sweet and spicy salsa with vibrant colors and a wonderfully zingy taste. It’s great as an appetizer when served with tortilla chips and crackers, but it’s just as good as a topping for grilled fish, chicken, or pork. The cool, refreshing ingredients scream “summer” but you can easily make this salsa all year-long.
Unlike most other recipes for freshly made salsa, this one requires that you use your oven because the sweet potatoes need to be roasted. Be sure to cut the potatoes into very small pieces – about ¼ inch dice. It only takes about 10 minutes of roasting time for the sweet potatoes to become slightly tender. Make sure they are completely cool before proceeding with the recipe. When I make this salsa I roast the sweet potatoes ahead of time and chill them, then combine all the ingredients right before serving. This salsa will keep for a day or so but it’s best eaten right after it’s made.
The literal translation for the word “salsa” in Spanish and Italian is “sauce”. In the United States we tend to think of salsa primarily as a chunky mixture of tomatoes, onions, and spicy peppers served with tortilla chips as an appetizer, but in other cultures salsa is used more like a traditional sauce – that is, spooned on top of, or served alongside of, main dishes. Using salsa in place of sauce has tremendous appeal as it is typically lighter, lower in calories, and more nourishing. Particularly in summer, who wants a hot, heavy sauce on top of their food – not me!
The versatility of Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa is what makes this a 5-star recipe. In addition to serving it as an appetizer with chips, and as a topping for meat, chicken, or fish, you can also serve it as a simple side dish. Healthy and delicious, with bright flavors and a fabulous variety of textures, this is most definitely not your average salsa!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1½ lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered or cut into 6 pieces if large
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, cut into ¼ inch dice
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into ¼ inch dice
- 1 – 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup chopped, fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a half sheet pan and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oi, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast on bottom rack of oven for 10 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a toothpick but are still somewhat firm.
- Let cool and then combine with the tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, and black beans.
- Whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper, cumin, cayenne and cilantro. Pour over the sweet potato black bean mixture and toss to combine.
- Serves 10
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