Chris Cooks

Harvest Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Maple Bacon Vinaigrette

August 27, 2023

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I love a good salad. No matter the time of year, a crisp salad with delicious toppings and a homemade dressing is always a good idea. I really wanted to make a salad to transition my tastebuds into Fall while remaining delicious in summer. And so I did. This harvest salad is fresh and green, topped with roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus tips, and maple-glazed pecans. The maple bacon vinaigrette, which is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, is the cherry on top. It’s just so, so good and would be great as a side, but totally satisfying as a main dish if you add a protein in.

Wood Serving Bowl | Wood Fork & Spoon (similar) | Bowl | Stoneware Bowls | Plaid Towel (similar)

Every time I cook bacon, I save and store the grease to use for later. This dish is no different. However, this time, we’re turning around and using the rendered fat from the crispy bacon and using it for the glazed pecans. The bacon grease adds so much flavor to our pecans, so once you finish cooking your bacon, don’t forget to set it aside.

Other prep work includes roasting the sweet potatoes, cooking the asparagus tips, and glazing the pecans, but I promise it’s all worth it. I decided to add some leftover Salmon I had made for some added protein, which was delicious, but this would also be great with chicken or grilled pork.

In my opinion, homemade dressing is so underrated. Nine times out of ten, it’s better than any store-bought dressing, and in reality, it doesn’t take much time to mix up. This vinaigrette is sweet and tart and brings all the savory flavors of this salad together.

I’m dying for you to try this salad and I hope you let me know what you think.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Harvest Salad with Roasted Sweets & Maple Bacon Vinaigrette

This entree salad is a great transition from Summer to Fall, featuring roasted sweet potatoes, maple-glazed pecans, bacon, and a maple-bacon vinaigrette. It's so, so delicious.
Course: Main Course, Salad

Ingredients

Roasted sweet potatoes

Maple-glazed pecans

Maple Bacon Vinaigrette

Instructions

Render the bacon

  • First render the bacon by cutting it into 1 inch squares and adding to a small pot on medium low heat. Stir every couple of minutes, slowly drawing out the liquid and cooking it off until the fat renders out and the bacon begins to fry. Once the bacon has darkened, remove into a bowl lined with paper towel to drain. Set the bacon grease aside.

Roast the sweet potatoes

  • Add a roasting pan to the oven and preheat at 425. In a bowl toss together the roasted sweet potato ingredients. Once the oven comes to temperature let the pan heat for an additional 5 minutes. Add the seasoned sweet potatoes to the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender and browning develops. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Cook the asparagus

  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp of salt and stir to dissolve. Add the asparagus and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and hit with cold water to stop the cooking. Cover with ice and set aside.

Glaze the pecans

  • In a small sauté pan over medium heat add the pecans, along with the bacon grease. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently to prevent burning. Add the sage and cook for another 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently. Add the maple syrup and toss to coat. Cook for another minute then remove to a baking sheet or some tin foil to cool.

Make the dressing

  • Make the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Adjust salt, pepper, vinegar, and syrup levels to taste.

Assemble the salad

  • In a large bowl add the greens, topped with the bacon, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, thin-sliced shallots, roasted sweet potatoes, glazed pecans, and additional protein of choice (if desired). Top with as much of the vinaigrette as desired and toss to coat evenly. Enjoy at room temperature.

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What do you think?

  1. Sharon Mathew says:

    This looks so yummy!! Do you have an alternative to pecans if we have a nut allergy?

  2. Brenda says:

    5 stars
    Sounds delicious!!!

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