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Salad Nicoise and Sweet Potato Fries (GF/V)

My new dinner creation this week was a bit of an experiment. I'd been craving a Salad Nicoise (pronounced "nee-'shwa" in butchered-French English) recently and decided to make my own. But I'd also been craving sweet potato fries, so I swapped out the white potatoes in a traditional Salad Nicoise and made baked sweet potato fries on the side. I didn't include tomatoes, because Tim doesn't care for raw tomatoes, so I added carrots instead (why carrots? I don't know). I also didn't add the hard-boiled egg, mostly because I forgot. But I did retain the lettuce, tuna, green beans, olives, and vinaigrette. 

For the sweet potato fries, I peeled two medium-sized sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges or cubical lengths (I'm at a loss for words), but this was more difficult than I anticipated, due to the cylindrical shape of the sweet potato. My skills got better toward the end, though. I added olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and turmeric to the bottom of the baking pan, rubbed it all together, then tossed in the cut-up sweet potatoes and sort of swirled them around in the pan until they were all covered (I obviously don't have the language skills of a culinary expert--or the culinary skills of a culinary expert, so please bear with me). I baked them at 350 for about 40-45 minutes, turning them over about halfway through. I guessed at all of this, by the way, because I didn't feel like looking up an actual recipe, even though I probably have one pinned to my Pinterest recipe board (warning: if you click on the link, you will get sucked in).

Here's how they turned out:

Baked sweet potato "fries."

For the salad, I used a packaged organic spring mix, canned black olives (cut in half), canned wild Skipjack tuna, and packaged organic green beans, boiled al dente--or almost al dente; I was impatient with those, too. I shredded the carrot on top of the lettuce while the green beans cooled. I added everything else and then drizzled a honey mustard vinaigrette on top. Here's how everything came out:

My untraditional Nicoise Salad.

And here is my inspiration:

A traditional Nicoise Salad.

In hindsight, I would prefer the original salad recipe. Mine was not bad, but it just didn't come together very well. The sweet potato fries were good just by themselves, though, so I'll probably make those again, perhaps next time with honey and cinnamon--yum!


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