I interviewed Mark Bittman last week for a publication called Edible Idaho South. He happened to be in my town giving a lecture, and I was lucky enough to nab an interview.
Thanks to my contract, after publication, I can throw that interview up here for your enjoyment! But until then, you’re just going to have to reap the benefits of my pre-interview research.
For those of you who don’t know, Mark Bittman is formerly The Minimalist over at The New York Times. He’s still a food writer there, and has also recently launched the VB6 (Vegan Before 6) movement, in which he encourages people to avoid meat, dairy, eggs, processed foods, and other animal products before 6 p.m., after which they can eat anything in moderation. Mostly, he’s an advocate for easy, fresh, produce-based food — just my kind of guy.
My research included the making of this — a creative potato salad with a little Mexican flair. Packed with protein and flavor, thanks to a lime-chili vinaigrette, this makes a great packable lunch, vegan entree, or side dish to a larger meal. It took about ten minutes of active time.
I modified this recipe mostly by dividing it in half and using shallots instead of red onion — it’s otherwise untouched.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 minced red jalapeno (use a different pepper for more spice)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 cup cooked black beans, drained (canned are fine)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and shallots on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing.
- Put chili in a blender or mini food processor along with garlic, lime juice, remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Process until blended.
- Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.