It's actually sweet potato, not yam, but I am endlessly confused by the distinction. I generally call the orange ones yams and the yellow ones sweet potatoes. I'm pretty sure I'm wrong.
What's not wrong is this salad of wild and brown rices, oven roasted sweet potatoes/yams, oven-roasted red onion, black-eyed peas, and goat cheese. It's a super hearty and balanced combination that makes a perfect dinner on a chilly autumn evening. The idea came about from a combination of occurrences - 1. I had leftover goat cheese from the fig sandwiches, 2. I found huge yams on sale, and 3. I was browsing a new casserole cookbook by Emily Farris called Casserole Crazy, which included a recipe for Sweet Potato Not-Pie, which combines sweet potatoes and goat cheese. Obviously, as we learned with the fig sandwiches, sweet + goat cheese = awesome. So I used that flavor combination as my inspiration. As I am a fan of meals where everything is all mixed up in a vat, the result was this warm salad-like dish. Nutty brown and wild rice, sweet yam, sweet caramelized onions, meaty black-eyed peas, tangy goat cheese, dressed with lemon juice for an acidic bite. All your bases are covered. Recipe after the jump.
WILD RICE, SWEET POTATO, & BLACK-EYED PEA SALAD
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
1/2 cup wild rice
1 large sweet potato or yam, approx 1 lb, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds, rings intact
1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
3 ounces semisoft goat cheese
Cook the brown and wild rice in 2 cups salted water. Fluff cooked grains with a fork to separate, then set aside to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potato cubes with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until browned and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. About halfway through roasting, toss the potatoes with a spatula, then make room on the pan for the onion rounds. Lay the onions flat, brush with a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and continue to roast until cooked through. When onions are cooked, chop the rings into small pieces and combine with the potatoes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, potatoes, onions, peas, and parsley and toss to mix well. Drizzle over remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss. Serve warm dotted with goat cheese.