Ingredients for 4 servings
For the Sweet Potatoes:
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
For the Ham and Almonds:
2/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1-1/2-pound piece smoked ham, such as Black Forest, diced
3 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons cider vinegar or red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 head red leaf lettuce (about 1 pound), torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 quarts)
For the sweet potatoes:
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and boil until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes and transfer them to a large glass or stainless-steel bowl.
For the ham and almonds:
In a small frying pan, heat the 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the almonds and curry powder and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to the bowl with the sweet potatoes and add the ham and scallions.
For the dressing:
In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the remaining 2/3 cup oil slowly, whisking. Toss half the dressing into the sweet-potato mixture.
Toss the lettuce into the remaining dressing. Put on plates and top with the potato salad.
Variation: The curried nuts and ham make great complements to sweet potatoes, but they're excellent with regular boiling potatoes, too.