Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

by Pamela

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Yes, Virginia, you can put roasted sweet potatoes into a salad!

Since when do vegetables, specifically cooked vegetables, have to be relegated to side dish status?  Let’s not be casting our vegetables into some imagined pigeon hole.  How unfair!  Let them out to play and explore with the other foods.  Okay, I know it sounds like I’ve totally flipped my lid but hear me out on this one.  When you roast vegetables, their flavor gets a bit sweeter and their texture gets a bit softer but still has a chewability (yep, I’m making up words now too), or tooth to it.  These characteristics are a bit like a piece of cooked meat.

When I first suggested to Craig that I was putting roasted sweet potatoes into his salad he told me I was crazy (he probably should have run for the hills then, but now he’s kind of stuck).  I told him to just try it and if he didn’t like I would never do it again (little white lie there – I knew full well I’d be doing it again). I also heard “sweet potatoes are for mashing and eating at Thanksgiving.”  The rhetoric continued throughout the cooking process.  When he finally settled down and ate his salad, he really liked the sweet potatoes in the salad.  He especially liked the contrasting soft texture that they brought to the crunchy vegetables on his plate.  We had a winner.

Relationship Advice

Ginger Rogers once said “Two people who love each other, they don’t look at each other, they look in the same direction.”  If you follow relationship guru Paula Abdul and her relationship advice that “Opposites Attract,” you may have found yourself in some pretty odd situations.  Does it always end with a fight about should we stay in or go out on a Friday night?  No, it doesn’t.  While you may be Laura Ingalls compared to his James Dean (or maybe you’re Dita Von Tease and he’s George Bailey) this kind of opposite attraction doesn’t spell doom.  But remember this: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO EVER…I MEAN EVER…CHANGE THAT PERSON!  Just had to throw that in there.  The main thing that keeps successful couples together, through thick and thin, is that they both have the same future in mind.

Serves 2 – 4 (depends if using for side salad or main course)

Ingredients

For Salad

  • 8 Ounces Mixed Salad Greens (baby arugula, mache, baby bibb, baby spinach, frisee, etc.)
  • Handful of Parsely (chopped)
  • 8 Mint Leaves (chopped fine)
  • 6 Tablespoons Goat Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Pistachio Nuts (chopped)
  • 1/4 Red Onion (sliced very thin)
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Tart Cherries
  • 1 Medium Cucumber (diced)
  • 6 Baby Beets (roasted and diced)*
  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes (roasted and diced)*
  • Olive Oil (for drizzling)
  • Kosher Salt

For Dressing

  • 1/4 Cup Blood Orange Juice (can substitute regular orange juice)
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Clove Garlic (mashed with 2-3 pinches of salt)
  • 1 Small Shallot (sliced thin)
  • 1 Teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

For Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.

Place baby beets in foil (tops removed), drizzle with olive oil and tightly close foil around beets.

Spread diced sweet potatoes on baking sheet – drizzle with olive oil (using your hands mix sweet potatoes and olive oil to ensure all sides of sweet potatoes are coated in oil) and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Once oven is heated, place foil packet of beets on one rack and baking sheet of sweet potatoes on the top rack.  Roast for 60 minutes.  Half way through the roasting time, stir the potatoes.

Remove both beets and potatoes from oven to cool.

Once the beets are cool open the foil packet.  Peel the beets, the skins will slip right off just using your fingers.  Cut off any rough spots and dice.

For Salad Dressing

In a small bowl add first 6 ingredients and stir to combine.  Be careful when adding the blood orange juice…this stuff stains.

Drizzle in olive oil while constantly stirring so that everything thoroughly mixed.

Set aside.

For Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese

Place chopped pistachios on a small plate.

Roll one half of each tablespoon of goat cheese into a ball.  You can make these whatever size you like.

Roll each goat cheese ball into the chopped pistachios and set aside.

For Salad

In a large bowl add salad greens, parsely, mint, red onion, dried tart cherries, cucumber and roasted sweet potatoes.

If the dressing has started to separate, re-stir.

Drizzle the dressing onto the salad greens.  You can use as much or as little as you like (you can always serve the leftover dressing with the salad).  If you use too much dressing, your greens will get saturated and wilt.

Using tongs or 2 forks, lightly toss the dressing and greens together.

Serve greens on plates.  Add roasted beets (these aren’t added earlier because they will turn everything purple when you are tossing the salad greens).

Top with pistachio crusted goat cheese and serve.

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9 comments

My Man's Belly March 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

So sorry everyone. I forgot to list 2 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar to the salad dressing ingredient list.

LoveFeast Table March 4, 2010 at 6:18 am

Your picture popped up and I found myself saying, “please let those be beets!” Nice salad! It would be a total hit with my man!

Pamela March 4, 2010 at 9:48 am

Love Feast Table – yep, beets and a few dried cherries. the beets play really well with the sweet potatoes. Full disclosure – I’ve got a ton of baby beets in my garden and look for whatever I can to get them on the plate.

Penny – I haven’t tried them with honey, but that sounds really good. I usually throw in a handful of garlic cloves though and munch on the roasted garlic, with the potatoes of course.

Michelle – I’m glad to hear you are going to be making the salad. I love the picture you posted…so cute!

penny aka jeroxie March 4, 2010 at 3:30 am

Goat cheese and sweet potatoes? I have to try this combination. I can eat roasted sweet potato by itself and sometimes I drizzle it with honey. I eat funny.

Michele March 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm

This looks great … will be making very soon. (as in, tomorrow! :)
http://images.art.com/images/products/regular/10098000/10098742.jpg

Pamela March 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

The goat cheese gives the salad a nice tang. And the nuts….well, I just really like pistachios so it’s an additional texture.

Vegetable Matter March 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I love cooked sweet potatoes in salads, and they’re loaded with good stuff too. I have to say, though, that our goat cheese balls look especially tempting in your salad.

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