Salade d’Automne // Autumn Salad

Back in college I lived off campus so I would try to pack a lunch whenever I could, but as fall semester always seemed so busy I needed something quick to throw together. One of my go-to meals was a salad of kale, sweet potatoes, apples, walnuts, and goat cheese. I could quickly roast the sweet potato while I was getting ready in the morning and this was a meal that was both healthy and filling. So I wanted to make something inspired by what is to me this classic fall salad.

This hearty salad is a great way to eat lots of seasonal foods all together. You can even use it as a template and work with whatever you have. For instance, I used a mix of sweet potatoes and purple potatoes because that’s what I had. I also would have preferred kale but I had some lettuce we needed to use up so that’s what I went with. The creamy cashew dressing ties in the balance of sweet and savory flavors and I threw in the nuts and seeds on top for some more healthy fats and nutrients.

Hope you enjoy this salad and let me know what you think of it in the comments below !

Ingredients

(Makes about 4 servings as a main)

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, depending on size
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil, or other oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bunch of lettuce (or kale), whatever your preference
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or a combination of both
  • 2 tbs ground flaxseed

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 4 tbs water
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C or 375°F. 
  2. Chop the sweet potatoes into about 1/2 inch cubes and place on a baking sheet. 
  3. To the sweet potatoes, add the sunflower oil, thyme and a sprinkle of salt and stir to combine. 
  4. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until potatoes have softened and are beginning to brown. 
  5. In the mean time, prepare your cashews for the dressing. Put the cashews in a bowl and boil some water to pour over them. Let the cashews soak in the hot water for at least 20 minutes so they soften.
  6. Prepare the lettuce or kale by rinsing, drying in a salad spinner, and then ripping or chopping the leaves into manageable pieces. Place the lettuce in your serving bowl. 
  7. Once the potatoes are roasted, take them out of the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. 
  8. Once the cashews have soaked long enough, put them in a blender along with the water, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust as desired.
  9. Chop the apples into small pieces just before you’re ready to assemble the salad so they don’t brown.
  10. To assemble, place the sweet potatoes and apples on top of the lettuce in the bowl. Sprinkle over the salad the dried cranberries, pecans, pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds, and ground flaxseed. 
  11. Drizzle the creamy cashew dressing over top and enjoy!

Notes : Best eaten the same day, but the potatoes could be roasted in advance to save time. There will probably be leftover dressing, which can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

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