Rustic Yam Salad – Exceptional EA in the Kitchen

Whether you’re an assistant gearing up for some time away from the office and preparing for Thanksgiving celebrations with family, or an Exceptional EA reader from Canada or elsewhere in the world,  you’re sure to enjoy a good rustic yam salad. After purchasing the prepared salad a few times from a local market, I asked myself why we didn’t try it at home. We did so, and it’s the sun dried tomatoes that really elevate this recipe.

Rustic Yam Salad ingredients copyright Shelagh DonnellyWhile this makes a great summer meal, or a nice accompaniment to a Fall or Winter dinner – and leftovers make for a good lunch at the office – we don’t generally serve this dish as a substitute for mashed yams at holiday dinners. On one occasion, though, when we’d offered to bring the dish as our contribution to a broader family celebration, I left the yams baking too long in the oven – and so they were no longer firm enough to chop for the salad. Since there wasn’t time to prepare an alternative dish, I assembled the salad with the ingredients as listed, albeit with a creamier presentation than you’ll see in the photo below. Not an issue, as it turned out, since the dish also tastes great heated, and my unsuspecting relatives welcomed this variation on mashed yams. Even the pickier eaters found this appealing, and asked for the recipe.

You’ll see that this recipe includes cow feta, which is mild in flavour and quite distinct from the sharper goat feta.


  • yams – three to four medium sized
  • mild cow feta cheese – 200 grams / 7 ounces, or to taste
  • sundried tomatoes – 100 grams / 3.5 ounces, or to taste
  • one medium red onion
  • parsley
  • olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Scrub and bake the yams until they are just tender when tested with a fork. If you bake them until soft, you can revert to presenting a heated casserole.
  3. While the baked yams are cooling, take sundried tomatoes to taste and sautee them lightly. As to quantity, eyeball the dish and adjust the quantity of sundried tomatoes to suit your preferences. We buy and refrigerate a large jar of sundried tomatoes; while you can simply let the jar warm up to room temperature, I like sauteeing first the tomatoes and then using some of the residual oil in which they’d been stored to sautee the red onion.
  4. Remove the lightly sauteed sundried tomatoes to your serving dish.
  5. Chop the red onion into small pieces and sautee in the same pan you’d used for the tomatoes; if more oil is needed, add a light drizzle of olive oil. Don’t hesitate to cook well; this adds to the flavour of the dish. Set the cooked onion in your serving dish.
  6. Peel the yams and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place into serving dish with the sundried tomatoes and onion, and toss gently.
  7. Cube the mild cow feta cheese, and gently fold into the dish.
  8. Chop the parsley into bite-sized pieces, and gently fold it into the dish, as well.
  9. Enjoy!

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