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HomeNewsArchivesHERE'S A PICNIC-PERFECT DISH: BONIATO SALAD

HERE'S A PICNIC-PERFECT DISH: BONIATO SALAD

Aug. 5, 2001 – Potato salad is a favorite picnic food. Give this all-American dish a tropical twist by making it with boniato instead of potatoes.
Also called batata or white sweet potato, this starchy root vegetable has a flavor like that of a sweet potato with a white flesh like that of an Irish potato. When purchasing boniato, choose only those that are firm to the touch and have smooth skins with no marks on them. Smaller boniato tend to be more flavorful and have a better consistency when cooked than those that are larger. Boniato can be stored in a cool, dark place without refrigeration for up to a week.
One way to prepare boniato for eating is to bake them with the peel on like an Irish potato. If you peel them, cut the peeled boniato into pieces and place the pieces in cold water to prevent discoloration. Then you can cook them in a number of ways — again, just like potatoes. You can place the pieces in a skillet with a bit of oil and fresh herbs, or boiling them in soups or stews, or roasting them along with chicken or a beef or pork roast.
For boniato salad, cut the peeled boniato into bite-sized pieces, boiled them until tender, chilled them and mixed them with all the familiar fixings for potato salad. Prepared this way, boniato adds a new flavor and a heap of nutrition to an everyday dish.
Boniato Picnic Salad
2 large boniato
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
Scrub boniato, peel and cut into pieces. Place the pieces into a large pot and cover with water. Heat water to boiling, and then reduce the heat so that water is at a simmer. Cook the boniato until the pieces are tender but not mushy, or about 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Place boniato pieces into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except cayenne pepper and blend well. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle lightly with the cayenne pepper as a garnish.
This dish is best when refrigerated up to two hours before serving, so that the seasonings can blend with the bland sweetness of the boniato. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Food Fact: Boniato are fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free, but are rich in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. They are a good source of potassium, iron and vitamin A.

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