Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spinach & Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Adapted from Mark Bittman's Food Matters
Serves: 4
Time: About 45 minutes

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 thick slices of bacon

1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin

Juice from 1 orange

1 pound fresh spinach leaves

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 minutes. Remove and keep them on the pan until ready to use.

2. While the potatoes cook, put the bacon in a nonreactive skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook, turning once or twice, until crisp. Drain on paper towels and pour off the fat, leaving any darkened bits behind in the pan. Put back on medium heat, and add the remaining oil to the pan. When it's hot, add the bell pepper, onion and ginger to the pan. Cook stirring once or twice, until no longer raw, then stir in the cumin and the reserved bacon. Stir in the orange juice and turn off the heat. (The recipe can be made up to an hour or so ahead at this point. Gently warm the dressing again before proceeding.)

3. Put the spinach in a bowl large enough to comfortably toss the salad quickly. Add the sweet potatoes and the warm dressing and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.  Enjoy!