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Roasted Sweet Potato Peppered Pecan Spinach Salad

If you haven’t been eating many sweet potatoes, this salad is a good reason to start. The creation of my dear friend Regina Charboneau it is rich in flavor. The sweet potatoes and spinach make it nutritious too.

Ingredients

Creole Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 shallot
  • 3 rounded tablespoons creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Peppered Pecans

  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound pecan halves

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Spinach Salad

  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Start by making the peppered pecans. Spray a large heavy roasting pan with cooking spray and set aside. Mix together black pepper, sugar & salt. In a separate bowl whisk the egg white until foamy, then add the Worcestershire Sauce. Drop in the pecans and stir to coat well. Pour coated pecans into a colander to drain off extra egg white mixture; return to the bowl and add the pepper mixture. Stir well to coat each pecan.
  2. Spread pecans onto the prepared sheet pan. Roast in pre-heated 375 degree F oven for 5 minutes and stir pecans; roast an additional 5 minutes and stir again. Turn off heat and roast pecans an additional 5 to 10 minutes until pecans are lightly browned.
  3. Remove the pecans from the oven and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F to get it ready for the sweet potatoes.
  4. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and spread over a large baking sheet. Roast 25 minutes until tender and a little caramelized.
  5. While the sweet potatoes are roasting make the salad dressing. In a blender, add peeled shallots, pulse to chop. Add mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and sugar. With blender on medium speed, slowly add oil to emulsify.
  6. Combine the spinach, sweet potatoes, 1 cup pecans and cranberries. Toss with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and serve.