Sweet Potato-Apple Salad

sweet potatoes

Last week was the first full week of September, which means fall in my book. I planned five or six meals for the week in the spirit of cooler weather. And then, the LA heat wave hit- hard. It’s been 105 for the last two days, and high 90s the rest of the time. Suddenly, our air conditioner-less apartment was feeling the opposite of fall, and all of those pumpkin soups and risottos were sounding like the last things I wanted to be making. The idea alone of being in the same room as the oven was enough to get me to start sweating. Luckily, there was one meal I planned that sounded even remotely enticing. It still required the use of the oven, and I sweated a lot for those 30 minutes, but after that first bite, it was all worth it.

dressing onions

Now, I am not one to rave about salads. I eat them because I know my body needs those nutrients, but it’s not a very common occurrence where I crave a salad. This one changed that. I could eat this every week. And it fit this odd weather perfectly- it was refreshing and light, but still full of all the fall treats that I was really wanting- pumpkin seeds, apples, maple, and roasted sweet potatoes. I don’t think I need to mention how amazing onions caramelizing in maple syrup smells. The combination of roasted sweet potatoes, creamy goat cheese, crunchy nuts and seeds, and crisp apple slices was simply perfect. I promise you, A/C or no, this one is worth making. I think you’ll find it just as amazing as I did.

Apples and Roast

finished salad

 

Sweet Potato-Apple Salad
adapted from The Kinfolk Table

for the salad
1 extra-large, or 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into rounds 1/4″ thick
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small, or 2/3 large yellow onion, sliced 1/4″ thick

for the dressing*
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp honey
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

also…
4 cups kale (I found black tuscan to hold up the best)
1 apple, cored and sliced 1/4″ inch (I used pink lady- the crispness contrasts wonderfully)
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
3-4 oz crumbled goat cheese

instructions
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375.

Toss the sweet potato slices with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, 2 Tbsp of the maple syrup, and the cinnamon on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning over halfway through the baking time.
Transfer the sheet to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and remaining 1 Tbsp of maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, until caramelized.

Make the dressing: whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 tsp of honey together in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and additional honey to taste.

Toss the greens, apple slices, sweet potatoes, onions, nuts, seeds, and cheese together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

*note: if you are vegan and need to skip the goat cheese, I would double the dressing

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