Ikaria Longevity Greek Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Arugula

Sweet potatoes played a special role in the Ikaria longevity diet and are a great ingredient for anyone interested in healthy Mediterranean Diet recipes. They were grown traditionally on the south side of the island and eaten as a humble dessert! But they were also a choice tuber for seasonal Greek salads, as in this one, a remake of an old, traditional Greek recipe from Ikaria that is surprisingly sophisticated despite its simplicity. Use Greek feta please!


  • 1 ½ pounds / 750 g sweet potatoes
  • Salt preferably Greek sea salt
  • 1 large red onion or 1 bunch scallions trimmed
  • 2 bunches fresh arugula trimmed
  • ½ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup crumbled Greek feta or goat’s milk cheese optional


  1. Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes. Place in a large pot with cold salted water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until fork tender but al dente, about 15 minutes. Remove, cool slightly, peel (if boiling), and cut into 1 ½ - inch / 4 cm chunks. Transfer to a serving bowl. (Alternatively, you can peel and cube the sweet potatoes and either roast or grill them under the broiler, on a sheet pan tossed with a little olive oil and salt).
  2. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Of using scallions, trim and cut into thin rounds.
  3. Coarsely chop the arugula.
  4. Place the arugula, and onions or scallions in the bowl with the sweet potatoes. Season to taste with salt and toss with the olive oil and vinegar. If desired. Add the crumbled feta or goat’s milk cheese and serve.

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