This grilled yam salad from the Earthbound Farm Organic website tastes as good as it looks. Peeled yam slices are parboiled, grilled and then placed atop a lovely mixture of baby spinach, red onion, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. The balsamic/honey/mustard dressing is a perfect complement to the sweet potatoes, tangy cheese and pungent onion. Don’t overcook the yam slices in the water or they will fall apart. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, as pouring them into a sieve will also break the slices. This is a great side dish for barbecued steak, chicken or ribs and is hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian entrée.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients to watch out for in this recipe are the balsamic vinegar, mustard and feta. Look for balsamic vinegar that contains only naturally occurring sulfites and feta with no preservatives. Mustard often contains colour, sulfites and sodium benzoate – I used President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon, which is additive- and colour-free.

Parboil the yam slices and let them cool.

Grill sliced in a ridged pan until marks form.

The yams top baby spinach, red onion, pine nuts and feta.

Grilled yam salad


1 pound yams (peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices)

½ tablespoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons mild honey

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon whole grain mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

5 ounces baby spinach

½ small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup toasted pine nuts


Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and add the salt. Add the yam slices and simmer until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the slices in a single layer until cool.

Brush the slices with the 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and then cook them in a ridged grill pan over high heat (or on a barbecue) until grill marks appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the slices and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

While the yams are cooling, make the dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil and mustard in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper as you like. Set aside.

When the yams are cool enough to handle, cut the slices in halves or quarters, depending on their size.

Place the spinach and onion in a large bowl and toss. Add half of the balsamic dressing and toss again. Transfer the greens to a large serving platter and scatter the feta and pine nuts over the salad. Add the yams and drizzle them with some of the remaining dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

From the Earthbound Farm Organic website