Amy’s Special Salad
Waste not. Want not. I think of that old adage every time I go to feed my girls/chickens and see the field of left over pumpkins from the fall harvest. Some days I’ll pick up one or two and scrape out the seeds to give them as a treat. Most of the time, however, I just pass the field up, but I don’t feel guilty, as I know by spring the field will be cleaned up, having provided food for Mother Nature’s creatures.
The New Year is just days away and I don’t want 2014 to close without saying I hope to share many more recipes and reminiscences (both mine and yours) in 2015. Thanks for making this blog a true “community” endeavor. There’s still a lot of celebrating to do. Try my latest favorite salad from Amy Tobin.
Amy’s Greens, sweet Potato, bacon and Brie Salad with maple vinaigrette and Corn Bread Croutons
Amy Tobin is the Creative and Culinary Director of the Event Center at the New Riff Distillery in Northern Kentucky and host of the weekly radio show Amy’s Table on Cincinnati’s Q102. I know Amy as an accomplished cook, but in a real world type of way. What I mean by that is Amy will take culinary shortcuts when convenient.
I saw Amy recently at a cooking class on holiday sides. One of the recipes was this awesome salad. Amy uses a box of Jiffy corn bread mix for the crouton topping. Delicious. Amy and I have the same philosophy when it comes to food: make it easy on yourself. With Amy’s guidance, you not only learn how to cook a fabulous meal easily, but also will learn valuable tips as she goes. Visit Amy at http://www.amy-tobin.com.
1 medium sweet potato
Salt and ground black pepper
9 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 ounces Brie cheese, diced
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
Peel and cube sweet potato; toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Roast in 375ºF oven until just fork tender, about 25 minutes.
Combine salad greens, pecans and cranberries in large bowl.
Arrange on serving platter or plates. Top with sweet potato, Brie, bacon and corn bread croutons; season with pepper. Drizzle with Maple Vinaigrette.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Pinch of salt
Whisk together all dressing ingredients.
Corn Bread Croutons
2 cups cornbread cubes
4 tablespoons butter melted
Preheat oven to 450º. Place cornbread cubes in large bowl and drizzle melted butter over all. Stir lightly but thoroughly so that all cubes are buttered. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, turning once, or until cubes are lightly browned and crisp. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.