Submitted by Terry Ropp, OFN Contributor

• 2 pounds sweet potatoes

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1 Tbsp lemon juice

• 1 tsp packed and grated nutmeg

• 3/4 C mayonnaise

• 2 tsp orange extract

• 2 tsp orange peel

• 1 C chopped celery

• 2 Tbsp orange juice

• 8 ounces chopped dates

• 4 Tbsp honey

• 8 ounces roasted pecan halves

• 1 tsp ginger

Peel, cube and boil sweet potatoes for 6 to 7 minutes. Cool immediately with cold water and drain. To roast pecans, place room temperature nuts in a 350-degree oven for 8 minutes and then flip them over and heat for another 7 minutes. Remove from pan and allow them to cool. Then cut each half in half or thirds following the nut ridge lines. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, peel, juices, honey, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Place the sweet potatoes, pecans and celery in a serving bowl. Gently stir in as much of the dressing as you like though I use only about half to three quarters of it. (I use the remainder on other fruit salads or as a fruit dip.) When ingredients are combined, chill for at least two hours before serving. Note: This can be served by the scoop as a side dish. You can also serve it on a salad plate by placing lettuce leaves on the bottom with broiled chicken strips on top for a main meal salad dish. Another important point is that any dried fruit can be used though I prefer mulberries or dates. If you are using apricots or any other larger sized fruit, make sure to dice it about the size of a pea. Raisins and dried cranberries etc., are fine as they are. Sometimes dried fruit gets too hard. The solution is to put it in a portion-sized container with a damp paper towel on top overnight. The fruit will soften nicely. Finally, the reason for the orange extract is to keep the dressing from becoming too runny. You might want to use 3 to 4 teaspoons of extract instead of any orange juice for a thicker dressing.


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