Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

You know that feeling the week after the holiday season, or a vacation, when you just want a bowl full of veggies, because you haven’t had enough recently? Because I do! And salads like this are the answer. A bowl full of greens, but also sustenance — sweet potatoes, walnuts and goat cheese!

And, this salad is one even veg-haters will like (said it already, but: potatoes, cheese, nuts… I mean is it even a salad? You don’t have to tell them there’s — ehem - kale under all those potatoes).

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite roots. Their flavor is SO good, and they pair well with virtually anything. They are also super rich in beta carotene (dark orange sweet potatoes have more beta carotene than carrots!) and vitamins A and C. 🙌

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

The whole thing is then drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette which has shallots and dijon mustard and even a little bit of honey — just the right balance of sweet and acid. It’s a pretty classic vinaigrette and one that you can use on just about any kind of salad or with any veggie (not just this salad!). (And if you don’t have shallots, it’s OK to skip them — but they really are good and worth the effort, so go ahead and just add them to your grocery list right now).

Lastly, if you’re into meal planning (I’ve never been that organized, but if you are, I’m in awe), you can make a big sheet pan of sweet potatoes ahead of time. Use some of them on this salad for light lunches throughout the week, and use the other half as a side with this Parma Rosa Chicken for dinner.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

P.S., If you like this salad combo, you may also like this Fresno Mint Broccoli Salad with Sweet Potato!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

Published January 8, 2018 by
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Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, roughly diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil, such as avocado
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 cups kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Directions:

    1. Roast sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss potatoes in 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast in oven for 40-45 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soften all the way through and crisping on the edges. Set aside to cool.
    2. Prep the kale: place torn kale pieces in a salad bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice. Using your hands, massage the kale with the lemon juice until the kale is bright green (Why do this? It makes is softer, easier to digest, and nicer to eat).
    3. Top kale with sweet potatoes, cranberries, walnut pieces, and goat cheese crumbles.
    4. Make vinaigrette: combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a jar and shake to combine. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and serve.

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    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    It is about 21°F this morning. The cold always me makes me crave crave warm, cozy dishes. This gruyère, roasted garlic and thyme dip  is just the thing to take to a New Years Eve cocktail party, or simply enjoy on the sofa after a long day, with your feet kicked up (build a fire in that fireplace, while you’re at it!).

    I went to a cocktail party this fall (potluck style), and there were at least three different spinach and artichoke dips! Tasting and comparing them all was fun, but really? Three versions? Seems everyone was on the same page that night. I LOVE spinach artichoke dip, and this dip hits the same craving but mixes it up a bit.

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip
    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    The first step in this recipe is to roast a whole head of garlic. Have you roasted garlic before? YUM. It becomes golden and soft and spreadable. I roasted an extra head of garlic while I was making the one for this dip just so we could have it. It makes the best garlic garlic bread or compound butter. You may as well make the most of having the oven on!

    Surprisingly, even with a whole head of garlic in this dip, it’s a subtle flavor — not a “I’m going to be breathing garlic for the rest of the night,” flavor. The gruyère and cream cheese soften it. Thyme adds an herbaceous note. The leftovers (if you have leftovers — in the realm of cheese that’s a rare story) do well as a sandwich spread or tucked inside of an omelette with sautéd mushrooms.

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip
    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    The new year is almost here! Wishing everyone a joyful 2019!

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    Published December 7, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 75 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 8 ounces sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces gruyère, finely grated, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley for garnish
  • For serving: crudités, crackers, crusty bread, etc.

  • Directions:

    1. First, roast the garlic: preheat oven to 350° F. Chop the very top off of the head of garlic. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive/avocado oil. Place in oven and roast 45 minutes, until cloves are golden and soft.
    2. Allow garlic to cool until you can easily touch it without burning your hands, about 15 minutes. Squeeze garlic cloves into a medium-sized mixing bowl, discarding of the garlic papers. Mash garlic.
    3. Add sour cream, cream cheese, 2 ounces gruyère, salt, black pepper, and thyme to bowl. Use a fork to mix until well combined.
    4. Spread cheese mixture in a ramekin or cocotte dish. Do not over fill—make sure there is at least 1/4-inch of extra room in the dish to avoid bubbling over. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons gruyère, and place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown in spots on the top.
    5. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before sprinkling with minced parsley and serving with crudités, crackers, or crusty bread.
    6. Leftovers? Eat them cold as a spread on toast, sandwiches, etc, or re-warm the dip in the microwave for 30-second intervals or in an oven until warmed through.

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    Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Pecans

    Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

    Two co-workers were talking about the best kale salad ever at this fancy restaurant downtown — Oak. They both noted that it was most memorable part of their meal. The salad. Can you believe that?!

    That conversation got my mind going, and somehow I invented a story in my head about that salad. In my mind, it had pecans, dates, and even bacon. It wasn’t just kale, there were other greens to lighten it up. And the dressing was tangy and sweet but not overpowering. I thought about that salad so much that I went ahead and made it (because why not?).

    Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale
    Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

    It wasn’t until I went to write this post that I remembered the original inspiration (Oak’s famous salad), and figured I should probably look up what their kale salad actually contains. Boy was I off the mark!

    Shaved Apple & Kale Salad. Grana Padano, togarashi, candied almonds.

    Say what??! Kale, apples, cheese, candied nuts, you have me on the edge of my seat! But then, Togarashi?!

    I guess I have to just go try the original. Until then, I’m going to pretend my own kale salad is just as famous.

    Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

    Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Pecans

    Published October 4, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:


    For the Salad:
  • 4 kale leaves, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup romaine, shredded
  • 1 cup radicchio, shredded
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, cooled and chopped in bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Place kale in a salad bowl. Drizzle lightly with oil and a sprinkle of salt. Using your hands, “massage” the kale, rubbing the leaves with your hands until they are bright green and tender. This will make them easier to eat.
    2. Add shredded romaine and radicchio to the bowl, and toss to combine. Add bacon, dates, and pecans.
    3. Combine first four ingredients for vinaigrette in a small jar and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad to your tastes and toss. Serve.

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