Thursday, March 14, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Salad

While I'm already craving spring vegetables like asparagus and peas, there is one winter vegetable that I'm not sure I'll ever tire of - sweet potatoes. I've eaten my fair share of sweet potatoes this winter as fries, soupsburgers, and hashes, mashed, stir-fried and roasted, but this is the first time I've ever put them in a salad. I had a few trimmings left over from a larger recipe, so I relied on my go-to vegetable cooking method (roasting) to make those leftover pieces the most delicious they could be. Apples and sweet potatoes are an obvious pair, so I roasted them together to sweet, caramelized perfection, contrasting those flavors with pungent blue cheese and rich and toasty walnuts. This is yet another riff on my go-to salad recipe, but one of my favorites to date, combining a host of my favorite ingredients in perfect balance. Although I'm anxious for the days when I'll be topping my salads with roasted asparagus and fresh and crunchy sugar snap peas, these last tastes of winter are still pure heaven.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Salad
serves 2

1 small sweet potato (about 4 ounces), cut into small pieces
1 small apple, cored and cut into small pieces
Olive oil cooking spray
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces salad greens or baby spinach
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese
Salad dressing, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the sweet potatoes and apples with olive oil to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and browned, about 20 minutes, flipping midway through roasting.

2. Meanwhile, spread salad greens on a plate, topping with shallots. Once the sweet potatoes and are apples are done roasting, sprinkle on the salad and top with cheese and nuts. Drizzle with salad dressing of choice, and enjoy!

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