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Sweet Potato, Ham, and Goat Cheese Salad

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Serves four.

  • by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
    Issue 102

Sweet potatoes and maple-glazed ham give this main-dish salad a chunky texture and sweet-salty flavor profile. Look for high-quality, all-natural ham steak for the best flavor and texture.

  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. ham steak (preferably “ham with natural juices”), cut into 3/4-inch cubes (2 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 oz. mesclun salad mix
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. On the baking sheet, toss the onion, sweet potato, 2 Tbs. of the oil, 1 tsp. of the rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and spread in a single layer. Roast until the vegetables start to become tender, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss the ham with the maple syrup. Push the vegetables on the baking sheet aside to make room for the ham and bake until the ham and onions are browned in places, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 6 Tbs. oil with the vinegar, the remaining 1/4 tsp. rosemary, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the mesclun with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the mesclun among 4 plates. Top with the roasted vegetables and ham. Sprinkle each salad with some of the goat cheese. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve.

Serving Suggestions

This hearty salad needs only a loaf of crusty bread to make a complete meal. For dessert, try couscous pudding (like rice pudding, only quicker), studded with brandied prunes or dried apricots.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 520; Fat (g): 39; Fat Calories (kcal): 350; Saturated Fat (g): 11; Protein (g): 24; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 23; Carbohydrates (g): 19; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): 1460; Cholesterol (mg): 60; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I am by no means a stellar cook, but this recipe was so easy to follow and turned out so delicious, that my family thinks I secretely took a gourmet cooking course. The flavors blend together so wonderfully that you are trying to take another bite before you finish the one you're on.

I made this recipe last year, it was great. We decided to use it as our sweet potatoe dish for Thanksgiving.

Two years ago I visited Spain with my husband and had some amazing salads with iberico ham. Now that I found a place to buy jamon iberico de bellota online, I always have some in the fridge and add it to my greens. The Spanish ham makes boring salads a deli, particularly for quick lunches to take to the office. I recommend the ham from Buyjamon.com BuyJamon.com the market place for iberico ham.

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