Why wait until Thanksgiving in a few weeks to enjoy sweet potatoes? Pick up some at the farmers’ market or grocery store, and roast a batch to add to salads throughout the week (we use this method). This is one way we love using them. Natural sweetness from the potatoes, some crunch from the pecans and onions, and spinach come together for a perfect bite.
Sweet Potato, Spinach & Toasted Pecan Salad
4 cups baby spinach, rinsed & dried
1 sweet potato, roasted using this method & cut into half moons or triangles
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted & chopped (divided)
2 tablespoons Dress It Up Dressing Champagne Vinaigrette
Add the spinach, sweet potato, onion, and half the pecans to a deep bowl. Spoon the dressing on top, and stir to mix everything. Divide the salad amongst 4 dishes, or arrange on a large serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top, and enjoy!
In this case, it was the birthday that was big, but the salad could be, too.
You have to admire a woman who insists on making the salad herself at her own catered birthday party, as my friend Lisa did. Especially when she also chooses to use our dressing!
The salad can be any size you want, it’s just that easy. If there’s one particular ingredient you like a lot – heap it in. You don’t like another – leave it out.
But the key here is the combination of the flavors – the aromatic fennel, the sweet oranges – and all the while the spinach provides a mellow base, the perfect canvas on which all the other ingredients can shine. It’s also beyond easy, so great for a party where you can keep making more as it is gobbled up (which is exactly what happened at Lisa’s party).
This salad was originally made to serve a big crowd. I’ve scaled it down in size to feed a family of four. Even though it’s a smaller version of what Lisa served at her party, this is forever known as the BIG Birthday Salad.
(Whether she was celebrating her 21st, 30th, 40th or 50th birthday, I’ll never tell!)