Surely sweet potato and salty semi-cured Spanish sausage would be considered a pairing to die for! This Chorizo Salad is further completed by the freshness of baby spinach leaves and more natural sweetness from roasted red onions. No dressing needed. It speaks for itself!
Why I Love Chorizo Salad with Sweet Potato
What’s there not to love? The salty fried chorizo mixed through with the creamy sweet potatoes and levelled with some freshness from the baby spinach. Roast red onion at the same time to give it even more natural sweetness from its caramelisation.
This salad is super simple to make with no dressing either as it doesn’t need it. Some good olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon will suffice. No need to overcomplicate this recipe.
For you sweet potato lovers, you may also like our Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad.
What is Chorizo?
In simplistic terms, chorizo is a ground pork sausage.
There are 2 types of chorizo. There is a Spanish version which is a smoked chorizo whilst the Mexican version is made with raw, uncooked pork. They are, in fact, very different products.
For this recipe, we are using the Spanish chorizo.
Spanish chorizo is made with coarsely ground pork, garlic and pimentón which is a Spanish smoked paprika. And it’s the pimentón which gives the chorizo it’s deep red colour and smokey flavours which differentiates it from all the other sausages.
The paprika comes in sweet and/or spicy versions, so depending on how much or how little is used, the heat level of chorizo will vary.
Spanish chorizo has a robust flavour and can sometimes also include different varieties of chilli and oregano.
It has about a 40% fat content which is an essential component for making the perfect chorizo.
Spanish chorizo can also be found either fully cooked or semi-cured. The fully cooked chorizo resembles that of salami or pepperoni as it is also dried.
The semi-cured chorizo is soft, much like a regular cooked sausage. We have used the semi-cured chorizo for this recipe.
Types of Spanish Chorizo
Depending on the meat and spices used, the curing process and how they are even tied, Spain produces a few different types of chorizo.
Chorizo Traditional: This sausage is made with pork and is typically tied in a horseshoe shape. It is semi-cured whereby it is smoked but not dried. This is the most common type of chorizo that we would use.
Chorizo Iberico Bellota: This chorizo is made specifically with Iberian Bellota pigs on the Iberian Peninsula.
Truly artisanal chorizo Iberico Bellota is made with free-range pigs that have been feeding on acorns and natural grass. The smoking process can take more than 2 months.
Chorizo Riojana: This is produced in Rioja, Spain, and it is seasoned with garlic as well as both the spicy and sweet paprika. You can find this chorizo in both the semi-cured or cured version.
Spanish Chorizo Navarra: This particular chorizo is seasoned only with pimentón dulce, the sweet paprika and garlic.
Where to Buy Chorizo?
You can buy chorizo from your supermarket, farmer’s market or your local deli. You can buy them fresh or vacuum-packed. Either way, you don’t need to buy the most expensive chorizo available.
Sweet Potato Varieties
There are quite a few different varieties of sweet potatoes in the market. From the orange-fleshed jewel, garnet or Beauregard to the purple-fleshed variety and the white-fleshed Hannah.
The orange-skinned sweet potato has orange flesh and it maintains its colour well when roasted in the oven.
I have used all three in the past and placed them under the same roasting conditions, and they have all been perfect for my salad recipes.
The Japanese Okinawa or Satsuma-Imo are remarkably sweet and delicious and if you’re able to get a hold of them, use them!
For this recipe, it doesn’t really matter which variety you use. It’s the soft, melt in your mouth sweetness that we’re after and you’ll find that all of these varieties will deliver.
How to Make Chorizo Salad with Sweet Potato
How to Roast Sweet Potato
Preheat oven to 220°C or 430°F
Peel the sweet potato and cut to 2 cm cubes. Coat the sweet potato with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Then place it on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
You can choose to turn the sweet potato at the halfway mark if you really want all-round crispness, but it’s not necessary for this recipe.
How to Pan-fry Chorizo
Slice chorizo in an angle to 1 cm thickness.
In a medium-sized fry pan on medium heat, add 1 tsp avocado oil. Add the chorizo and toss for 2 minutes.
Layout some paper towels and place the cooked chorizo on the paper towels to absorb the oil.
How to Roast Red Onion
Peel the red onion. Cut the red onion in half from the stem to the top as we need the stem to keep the wedges intact. Then cut each half into 4 wedges. Be gentle with them so they don’t fall apart.
Using a brush, coat the onion with 1 tsp of olive oil on both sides. Brush the sheet pan with 1 tsp of olive oil to prevent the onion from sticking. Place the wedges on the sheet pan.
At the 10-minute mark of the sweet potato, add the second sheet pan with the onion and place in the oven.
Both the sweet potato and onion will be ready at the same time. When roasted, remove and allow to cool.
How to Assemble Chorizo Salad
In a small mixing bowl, toss the baby spinach with 1 tsp of olive oil, juice of ¼ of a lemon and some pepper.
Add the sweet potato and chorizo and gently mix through.
Place the salad on a nice platter.
Gently place the roasted red onions around the top of the salad.
Squeeze ¼ of the lemon around the salad.
Season with pepper.
How good is that! When you’re eating this salad, be sure to have a bit of everything in one mouthful as you’ll see how the salty and sweet components work together so well! It may be so good that you just might forget to eat the main course!
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Chorizo Salad with Sweet Potato
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- Preheat oven to 220°C or 430°F
- Peel the sweet potato and cut to 2 cm cubes. Coat the sweet potato with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Then place it on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Slice chorizo in an angle to 1 cm thickness. In a medium-sized fry pan on medium heat, add 1 tsp avocado oil. Add the chorizo and toss for 2 minutes. Layout some paper towels and place the cooked chorizo on the paper towels to absorb the oil.
- Peel the red onion. Cut the red onion in half from the stem to the top as we need the stem to keep the wedges intact. Then cut each half into 4 wedges. Be gentle with them so they don’t fall apart.Using a brush, coat the onion with 1 tsp of olive oil on both sides. Brush the sheet pan with 1 tsp of olive oil to prevent the onion from sticking. Place the wedges on the sheet pan. At the 10-minute mark of the sweet potato, add the second sheet pan with the onion and place in the oven. Both the sweet potato and onion will be ready at the same time. When roasted, remove and allow to cool.
- In a small mixing bowl, toss the baby spinach with ⅓ tbsp (1 tsp) of olive oil, juice of ¼ of a lemon and some pepper.
- Add the sweet potato and chorizo and gently mix through.
- Place the salad on a nice platter.
- Gently place the roasted red onions around the top of the salad.
- Squeeze ¼ of the lemon around the salad.
- Season with pepper to taste.
- You can use any variety of sweet potato for this recipe.
- You can use brown onion if you’re not able to get a hold of red onions.
- No salt has been added to this recipe as the chorizo is salty enough.
- You can substitute baby spinach with mixed greens or mesclun.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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