Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spiced Sweet Potato Salad with Apples, Grapes, and Almonds

I'm so looking forward to the weekend!  I can't believe it's the weekend before Thanksgiving!  I feel like this holiday has totally snuck up on me.  When did we get so close to the end of the year??

This week, I prepared one of my favorite salads (fruit, nut and cheese), and today, my friend Jennifer is sharing one of her favorite salads- made with sweet potatos, apples, grapes and almonds- yum!!


Salads aren't always the first thing I think of for dinner when the temperatures start to dip but I've been making an effort to incorporate more fall and winter salads into our routine and, surprise, surprise, we're all loving them!

There are so many interesting ingredients in this hearty salad, you almost don't feel like you're eating a salad.  If you have a heavier eater in the family (ahem..husbands, boyfriends, and teenage boys) try adding a simple grilled cheese sandwich on hearty whole grain bread and I don't think you'll hear any complaints about portion size!

One of the things I love about this salad is its versatility.  You can make a number of substitutions without altering the health value, flavor, or texture of it drastically.  Sweet potatoes or butternut squash would both be great as the roasted vegetable.  Baby spinach, arugula, or mixed greens all works as the lettuce component.  Use any variety of apple or grape that you like.  Dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries would all be delicious.  And for the nuts, walnuts, pecans, or marcona almonds would all be wonderful.  Tailor it to your tastes and what you have available and you'll have a quick and healthy dinner on the table in no time.

p.s.  This salad would also make a great salad course for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!


(Serves 4)
Ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Fuji or Gala apples, cored and cut into 1" cubes
2 cups green grapes, halved if large
1/2 c. dried blueberries (I like Trader Joe's dried wild blueberries)
1/4 c. sliced almonds
4 c. arugula
3/4 c. apple cider or apple juice
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. minced shallots
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 375ยบ.
Toss sweet potatoes, 1 tbsp. olive oil, sesame oil, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.  Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until tender and starting to brown, about an hour.  Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook until the mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 6-8 minutes.  Take off the heat and whisk in 1/2 c. olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
Place arugula in a large bowl and toss with some of the dressing.  Divide the arugula among four plates and top with apples, grapes, dried blueberries, almonds, and sweet potatoes.  Drizzle more dressing over the top and serve.



3 comments:

  1. yummy!! can't wait to try it ~ thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That looks delicious. Apples on a salad are so refreshing! Yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ohmy, that is a lot of good things in one salad!

    ReplyDelete

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