Growing up I associated eating salads with summer. It made sense that during the hot summer months I would want to eat something that was easy to prepare, didn’t require an oven, and healthy.
And by salads I mean the kind where you buy prepackaged iceburg lettuce, toss it with tomatoes, and then douse it in ranch (just kidding, really…)
When I joined the CSA, I realized that I would eat more salads than I ever thought possible. It seemed like I had a never ending supply of lettuce (there are worse things to have….)
Yet what I didn’t realize that lettuce doesn’t fair well in the heat. In fact, lettuce is pretty much non-existant in the hot summer months. It grows best in the spring and fall during the cooler weather (at least where I live.) So the fact that I associated salads with summer is actually counterintuitive (and thus not eating at the peak of production.)
While in the fall there aren’t the traditional tomato and cucumber toppings but instead squash, sweet potatoes, and apples, salads can seem a little meh. Yet, once you get past the fact that a salad can be whatever you make it, the possibilities are endless. The crispness of the apples paired with the roasted sweetness of the sweet potato are nothing short of the perfect salad topping. Add in a tangy cheese, a few roasted walnuts, and a delicious maple dressing; you’ve got fall in a salad.
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 medium apple
- walnuts, toasted
- Cheese, either feta or Gorgonzola
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
- Preheat oven to 400˚.
- Peel sweet potato and slice into ½" wedges. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a covered baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes start to brown. Remove from oven.
- While sweet potatoes are in the oven, wash lettuce, slice apples into ½" wedges, and toast walnuts if need be. I like to toast nuts in a skillet, shaking occasionally until fragrant.
- Once sweet potatoes are done, assemble salad. In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard, tasting and adjusting as need be. Serve immediately.