Roasted Sweet Potato and Okra Salad


Marcus Samuelsson drew on African staples like yams and okra to create this completely original recipe of roasted sweet potatoes tossed with red potatoes, wilted spinach, and sautéed okra. Toasted mustard seeds and a caper vinaigrette give this delicious salad a nutty, tangy flavor.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Okra Salad
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins


  • 1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 3/4? cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 pounds orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • 5 ounces spinach, large stems discarded, leaves rinsed (8 cups packed)

  • 1 pound small okra, thawed if frozen

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons drained and chopped capers


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the red potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and spread them in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they'e lightly browned and just tender. Let cool.

  2. On each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets, toss half of the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread the sweet potatoes in an even layer and season with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes on the upper and lower racks of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and just tender; switch the sheets halfway through for even cooking. Let the sweet potatoes cool.

  3. In a large skillet, toast the mustard seeds over moderately high heat until they start popping, about 3 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a small bowl. Add the rinsed spinach leaves—they will still be wet—to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, tossing with tongs, until completely wilted. Transfer the spinach to a colander to cool. Lightly squeeze the spinach dry and then coarsely chop.

  4. Wipe out the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the okra, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning a few times, until the okra is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

  5. In a very large bowl, mix the vinegar with the capers and the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the red potatoes, sweet potatoes, mustard seeds, spinach and okra and toss well to coat. Transfer the salad to a platter and serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 one day in advance. Refrigerate the red potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach and okra separately. Bring the ingredients to room temperature before proceeding. Keep the mustard seeds covered at room temperature.

Related Articles