Salads are not my forté. I realize their potential, and creative additions often occur to me (cubes of cold frittata! soft goat cheese rolled in ground spiced nuts!), but I’m not great at building one, unless it’s the grainy, beany kind. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But my greens – they’re growing! I need to keep up.
I’ve recently discovered the appeal of the plated salad – perfect for just three, and just as perfect for more – you start with a long plate or small platter, make a nest of greens and layer interesting things on top. I always wind up with too much when I fill a salad bowl, and this way the greens are there, but don’t take over the party.
I have the BBC to thank for this one, although I did make some changes – I like roasting potatoes rather than boiling them (you don’t lose nutrients to the water that way), and I swapped the pine nuts (which have you noticed are more expensive than platinum?) for toasted pecans. Walnuts would do nicely, too. Charring sweet potatoes is brilliant – it transforms them into something more smoky and intense – and you can go ahead and grill them alongside your steaks or whatever you have going, although this salad makes a pretty spanking dinner all by itself.
Grilled Sweet Potato & Feta Spinach Salad
Thanks to BBC Good Food!
1 dark-fleshed sweet potato
a few handfuls of baby spinach
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
a small handful of toasted walnuts
1/3 cup canola or olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard
Roast the sweet potato whole in a 350F oven for about an hour (this can be done while something else is baking). Cool and cut into 1/2″ slices. If you like, brush them with oil.
Preheat the grill to medium-high and grill the slices of sweet potato until char-marked on each side. Lay the spinach out on a plate, and layer with grilled sweet potato slices and slivered onion; scatter with feta and nuts. Whisk or shake together the dressing ingredients and pour overtop. Serves 4.