Nothing says picnic like a big bowl of potato salad and here's a salad that's perfect for picnicking - it's even best served at room temperature! It's a Sweet Potato and Black Bean salad that's based on this recipe from the fabulous Mark Bittman. Although it does have an autumnal feel, we like it in summer, too.
Here's my version for summer. Chop 4 medium sweet potatoes and one large purple onion in 1-inch chunks. Toss with EVOO, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper (~2 T. EVOO). And remember Julia's advice: don't crowd the pan!
Roast at 400 for 30-40 minutes. Let potatoes and onions cool on the pan. Prepare the dressing: EVOO, lime juice, one clove minced garlic, several dashes of hot sauce or cayenne pepper or chopped chili/pepper. (Use your own judgment for amounts - roughly the juice of two limes and twice that much oil. Refer to the original recipe for detailed instructions on the dressing.)
Toss roasted vegetables with 2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can rinsed/drained black beans) and other vegetables of your choice. I always use red and/or yellow pepper and sometimes fresh corn (cooked, of course). Toss with dressing and lots of chopped cilantro. Season as needed.
This is an easy salad that is perfect with Tex-Mex meals or grilled chicken - or as a meal by itself. And it's perfect if you have a surplus of cilantro . . .