Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Jerk Vinaigrette

Chef John Fraser makes a punched up jerk sauce with multiple spices, molasses, soy sauce and Pepsi to coat his tender sweet potatoes. You can use your favorite store-bought jerk sauce in its place.

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  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/2 cup Pepsi
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon vadouvan (see Note) or curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Six 6-ounce sweet potatoes, baked and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups torn escarole, light green leaves only
  • 1/2 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced orange bell pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a saucepan, boil the Pepsi over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Add the soy sauce, molasses, ginger, brown sugar, vinegar, thyme, garlic, <em>vadouvan,</em> allspice and cinnamon and puree. Season the jerk vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of the jerk vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; brush with oil. In a bowl, gently toss the sweet potatoes with half of the remaining jerk vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Grill the potatoes over moderately high heat, turning and basting with the remaining vinaigrette, until lightly charred all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and lightly break them apart with a fork.

  4. In a bowl, toss the escarole, pineapple and bell peppers with the 2 teaspoons of oil; season with salt and pepper. Scatter the salad over the grilled potatoes and serve right away with the jerk mayonnaise.


Vadouvan—a French spice blend with Indian flavors that can include fried onion, garlic, curry leaves, fenugreek and mustard seeds—is available at

Photo © Christina Holmes Published June 2014

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