I wanted to have sweet potatoes(because I love them) at our Thanksgiving dinner but didn’t want them prepared in the traditional way of mashed or in a casserole. I love roasted sweet potato, so incorporated it into this salad and served it as a vegetable side dish for Thanksgiving.
2 pounds medium sized sweet potatoes—peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses
The white part of 3 medium leeks (1 1/4 pounds), sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3/4 cup of fresh orange juice
1/2 pound of baby greens or any kind of lettuce you prefer
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes, thyme, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt. Spread in an even layer and roast for 30 minutes per side.
2. In a medium/large cast-iron skillet or any kind of ovenproof sauce pan, mix and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the vinegar, honey and molasses; season with salt, spread evenly in the pan. Place the onion slices evenly in the skillet and bake in the 375°F oven on a different rack then the sweet potatoes, until browned, about 20 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Reserve the juices in the skillet.
3. In a small pan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden.
4. Now make the vinaigrette-Set the reserved skillet with the molasses/vinegar mixture, over medium heat, add the garlic, garlic oil, orange juice, cumin and crushed red pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom; season with salt. Mound the lettuce on plates and top with the sweet potato, onions and sugared pecans. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.