Treading the Fine Line Part 2

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad

A couple of days ago, we proposed the idea of recipe adaptations and just how far we can stretch the word.  Looks like many people find recipes as a means to an end, and however you interpret that recipe doesn’t matter.  It’s what you end up with that can be your own, although giving credit where credit is due remains key and important.  In the end, recipes are meant to be adopted and then adapted!

Well we said there would be a part two to that post, so here it is.  We first saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen less than a month ago, and knew we just had to give it a try.  It was colorful, fresh and chock full of the staples we normally keep in the kitchen.  But of course we made a few changes and additions!  Like swapping a main star for one of our favorite vegetables, adding another layer of crunch, pumping up the color green, using a thicker dressing and sprinkling in additional seasonings. Who’s to say if it was any better or worse than the original, but what we did create was hands down delish.   And when it comes to cooking, that’s all that matters.

We found the recipe on one blog where it had been adapted from another blogger who got it from two restaurateurs/authors.  This has become quite a chain.  Peruse the original, check out the other versions, take a look at ours.  They’re all variations on the same theme.  The salad was perfect for a few days of packed lunches.  So perfect in fact that we’ve submitted it for the Modern Girls Kitchen Brown Bag Round-Up.  Oh, and it has potatoes in it, so it should also go to Noble Pig’s Potato Ho Down!

Warm Sweet Potatoes and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing – Serves 6
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
28 ounces chickpeas, drained
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup parsley and cilantro, mixed
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons tahini, not raw
2 tablespoons water
Olive oil
Kosher salt

1.  In a bowl, combine sweet potatoes, half of minced garlic, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom, allspice and a bit of salt.  Toss well with a bit of olive oil.

2.  Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees until soft, approximately 35-45 minutes.

3.  While potatoes bake, combine chickpeas, carrot, scallions, red onions and lemon zest.  Set aside.

4.  In a smaller bowl, whisk tahini, lemon juice, remaining garlic and water.  Drizzle in olive oil and whisk until dressing reaches desired consistency.

5.  Once potatoes are done, allow to cool a bit, approximately 15 minutes.

6.  Add roasted sweet potatoes to chickpea mixture.*  Toss with tahini dressing.  Salt to taste.

*We read that any leftovers can sit, with a bit of dressing, in the fridge and still taste just super.  Not that we didn’t believe anyone…but we kept the dressing separate and combined them as necessary prior to eating.  This is only relevant if you have leftovers though!

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


36 thoughts on “Treading the Fine Line Part 2

  1. Recipes so often develop such an interesting life of their own… reminds me that nothing in this world is really an original, and that we create based on our own experiences and exposure.

    This looks like a great salad. Love this combo!

  2. oh my gosh-I am seriously making this over the weekend. I jsut made a sweet potato recipe that will be posted tomorrow and as most know, I am a sweet potato fanatic. XO

  3. You two are a lot of fun. You’re always entering things. Thanks to you I found out about the ho down and entered a dish. I hope you are going to enter something on the royal foodie joust. I picked the ingredients.

    Oh, I LOVE chick peas with sweet potatoes. I say that, I’ve actually never tried it, but I think I will. Looks like a good brown bag option.

  4. So true – I always wonder how to credit the recipes I use when I make so many changes! I often say “inspired by” or “adapted from.”

    I think I’m feeling inspired by your post tonight — looks wonderful!

  5. Nice adaptation. I definitely think you should always credit the original source, but adaptations are what cooking is all about!

  6. The salad looks amazing and delicious. I really try to make every recipe my own. Even though I may use a formula in my bread making I like to make it different than what you may find.

  7. I would of never thought to pair up sweet potatoes and chickpeas! But what a lovely combo. I’d be real happy to find this in my lunch bag!

  8. Sounds delish (as do the other versions of this, at least one or two of which I had happened across before). No doubt, if I were to do it myself, it would become (yet another) adaptation. We all adapt recipes to fit in with the contents of our kitchens, gardens and markets and to suit our own particular tastes and moods. Ain’t that what cooking is all about! 🙂

  9. Nice, I love tahini. You know, I think every time I thought I had come up with an original recipe it turned out that someone else had made it before. Heh. 🙂

  10. I have a ‘disclaimer’ on my blog that recipes I feature are almost all ‘adaptations’ because I don’t think I’ve ever come up with an original dish in my life (that was edible!). For me, ‘adapting’ means staying true to the spirit of the dish but making do with what’s available, either in ingredients or technique.

    Some of the world’s best cuisines evolved from the adoption and adaptation of others’!

  11. Adopting and adapting is the perfect way to say it. Nicely done! I love your chain of links and seeing how this recipe has developed. I’m all over the sweet potatoes and chickpeas too – this looks great!

  12. I agree with arimou0. Adding your own flavor to a recipe is essential in honing your cooking skills.
    I am not at all a veggie fan but, this salad makes my mouth water.

  13. Eating, cooking must be a permanent adventure trying to explore new flavors and delicious combinations like this case!

    This salad looks really colorful …utterly amazing 🙂


  14. Of course recipes are meant to be adopted and adapted. Could you imagine how boring the world would be if all of use cooked and ate the same????? BORING! LOL great adaptation, btw 😉

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