Sunday, October 25, 2015

Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Last weekend I was cursed with the most awful allergies. My eyes were red, watery, and inflamed, my throat was raw and scratchy, and my nose...well, it just wasn't working. I was doing a lot of mouth breathing and it wasn't pretty. Hot tea with lots of honey was the only thing that provided me any relief whatsoever and after lots and lots of tea that honey pot was getting empty. 

First thing on my list at the farmer's market was local honey, and lots of it! No way was I going to run out of the only thing that was providing me relief. Next up, something orange to celebrate the colors of fall. The petite veggie farmer had the cutest little baby sweet potatoes. Anything mini always catches my eye and I was inspired to buy them. When I glanced at the bin of baby arugula an idea for a fall-inspired salad came to mind. One bag of baby arugula and I was good to go.

Once home I laid my eyes on a recipe for Ellie Krieger's Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and it was a perfect way to use my bounty from the farmer's market. I peeled and diced the baby sweet potatoes and mixed them with an oil and honey mixture. After roasting them for about an hour I added in a handful of dried cranberries and placed it back in the oven, just to warm through and allow the flavors to meld.

The roasted sweet potatoes were so pretty with the jewel-toned cranberries and the bed of arugula served as the perfect background for the sweet potatoes. I sprinkled some honey-roasted pecan halves on top of the salad, drizzled on a tasty maple-balsamic vinaigrette I made, and finished it all off with some Parmesan shavings.  It was incredibly delicious and satisfying! My husband doesn't even care for sweet potatoes, but the salad was so gorgeous he had to taste it. Once he tasted it he fell in love and ended up sharing it with me. I can't wait to make this salad again and I'm seriously hoping the farmers has more mini sweet potatoes. This salad is a wonderful combination of textures and flavors and a perfect celebration of autumn. It would make a good addition to any fall-inspired menu.
Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Recipe via Food Network
by Ellie Krieger

1 pound sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
spritz of lemon
salt and pepper, to taste 

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1 inch pieces.  Whisk olive oil, honey, lemon, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place sweet potatoes in an ovenproof baking dish and pour olive oil and honey mixture over the potatoes, tossing well. Bake for about 1 hour until potatoes are caramelized and tender, stirring occasionally.  Optional: Add in a couple tablespoons dried cranberries during the last few minutes of roasting so the cranberries can warm through and the two flavors have a chance to meld.

Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Recipe found on Diethood
Makes about 1/3 cup

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons golden balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste 

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisking together until incorporated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over salad. Dressing will keep for up to 2 weeks.

To Make The Salad
4 cups arugula leaves
1/2 cup honey roasted pecan halves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 recipe honey-roasted sweet potatoes with cranberries added
1 recipe maple-balsamic vinaigrette

Place arugula on a salad platter. Top arugula with sweet potatoes and cranberry mixture. Place honey roasted pecan halves and Parmesan cheese on top of salad and drizzle with maple-balsamic vinaigrette. Salad will serve 4 people as a side or 2 people as a main dish.

Theme: Think Orange!


  1. Such a gorgeous fall salad Kim! I love everything about it (especially those mini sweet potatoes) and how smart of you to transform Ellie's sweet potato recipe into something so fun and creative. ;-)

  2. Kim, I love the idea of combining dried cranberries with sweet potatoes. I'd love to try this soon! Thanks for the idea Kim!

  3. There are so much going on this dish that I feel compelled to make the salad now. The most adorable sweet potatoes, the contrasting color of the cranberries and arugula, caramelization from roasting the potatoes and the honey, and saltiness of Parmesan cheese. It is a symphony!

  4. Wow, such a beautiful salad! And it looks really, really good! I like all the ingredients! Adding the dried cranberries is a brilliant addition! Love how your salad looks, gorgeous!

  5. This salad looks delicious and nutritious. Now that November is approaching and I am hoping for cooler weather I will add this to my list of must bake.

  6. Kim, I'm glad that honey is the remedy for you. Hope you are a whole lot better! I love how pretty your sweet potatoes look and I would never have thought of adding dried cranberries. Awesome!! Your argula salad looks so colourful and yummy with all those colours.

  7. What a clever idea to use the sweet potatoes in a salad.

    Try hanging some fresh eucalyptus in your shower for your stuffiness.


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