Sweet potatoes top crisp greens

Crisp-fluffy potatoes are scattered over a bed of greens.
Crisp-fluffy potatoes are scattered over a bed of greens.

I have a new vegetarian main-dish salad to share, and you’re going to love it. The recipe is for roasted sweet potatoes over a bed of crisp salad greens. I know — it sounds strange, but don’t knock it until you try it.

I knew I had a hit when I first put the salad together because it was so pretty. The texture play between the crispy romaine and the crunchy-edged, fluffy middle of the roasted potatoes was so awesome, forks started flying after the first bite. My thanks to Top Chef contestant Keith Rhodes’ Catch in Wilmington, N.C., for the inspiration.

The salad was so simple, and yet so savory and satisfying, you won’t miss the meat protein. I added a sweet onion to roast alongside the potatoes, but if you’re not an onion person, you can leave it out. The salad portion has all my basic favorites and is, frankly, wonderful. But feel free to adjust the salad ingredients using your favorites.

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Warm Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Olive oil spray (see Cook’s Note)

2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut in 1-inch cubes

1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut in quarters

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

6 cups torn romaine lettuce

2 cups baby field greens

1 large tomato, unpeeled and chopped

1 medium kirby cucumber, unpeeled, chopped

2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette of your choice, plus more for serving, if desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray bottom of a dark roasting pan with olive oil. Scatter the potatoes and onions on the pan. Spray the vegetables with additional olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over and toss well.

Roast in oven 20 minutes. Meanwhile, compose your salad by combining the remaining ingredients, except the salad dressing, in a large bowl.

When potatoes are crisp on the outside and fluffy-soft on the inside (when pricked with a wooden pick), remove from oven and toss with the dressing. Top your salad greens with the warm potatoes and caramelized onions and serve immediately. Pass additional dressing at the table, if desired.

Cook’s Note: I have a Misto oil sprayer and used very little oil in the preparation. For analysis purposes, I used ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Please be aware that the amount of oil and any additional salad dressing you use will change the nutritional analysis significantly.

Approximate values per serving: 252 calories, 6.5 g fat (0 g saturated), no cholesterol, 4 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, 558 mg sodium.