Festive Holiday Chopped Salad

With dried cranberries, roasted sweet potato and pecans, this holiday chopped salad is tasty, festive and healthy.  And did I mention easy?  

With dried cranberries, roasted sweet potato and pecans this holiday chopped salad is tasty, festive and healthy.  And did I mention easy?  

A Festive Holiday Chopped Salad

Did you know that this year Thanksgiving is almost the earliest date possible? Perhaps that’s why it feels like time is just flying by.  You too?    

Would it help if I introduced you to an easy Holiday Chopped Salad?  Perfect for Thanksgiving.  Or even after Thanksgiving as an entrée salad using leftovers!

The salad was inspired by an (old) contest-winning Thanksgiving leftover sandwich I created plus a package of beautiful preserves from Quince and Apple, the sponsor of this post.     

Quince & Apple Preserves

Quince & Apple Preserves

Quince and Apple 

Quince and Apple is a small, Madison, WI based company, founded by husband and wife team Matt & Clare. Although we are practically “neighbors,” my first introduction to their products came at an American Cheese Society Gala.  The young company was there, offering samples and stirring up interest in their artisan preserves and syrups.   

Now the ACS event is a foodie’s delight.  It boasts thousands of cheeses, along with high-end specialty foods: savory charcuterie, single source honeys and finely crafted jams. But even among such esteemed fellows, Quince and Apple stood out.  

Click on logo to check out their Facebook page!

You see, their handcrafted products have the flavor and complexity of fine specialty foods… PLUS the natural goodness of Grandma’s (but with less sugar; Grandma did use too much sugar).

So I already knew they were killer-good.  But the story only got better.  In addition to absolute attention to quality, they source of lot of their ingredients locally (including the Door County cherries I love) and are they big green energy supporters

Just the kind of company I like to support!

Dressing–Made with Quince & Apple Preserves and just three other ingredients

Partly Homemade, with a Caveat

Enter making life easier… 

I have always loved the concept of partly home-made foods.  Combining your own natural ingredients with convenience foods can streamline cooking. I wouldn’t have survived my corporate mom years without it! 

Unfortunately, if your packaged ingredients aren’t top notch, your meal won’t be either.  Yup, dinner is only as good as its weakest ingredient.

But there is a simple solution.  Use great add-ins, like Quince and Apple preserves (when you aren’t serving them with your Brie).  A delicious fresh salad is just a few whisk strokes away (did you know that many commercial dressings have water as their first ingredient—flavorful right?)!  

Ingrediets

Ingredients

Holiday Chopped Salad

And that’s how this Holiday Chopped Salad came to be… inspired by the flavors of Quince and Apple’s Pear with Honey and Ginger preserves.  Even with a total of four ingredients, the dressing is complex — with pear and ginger perfectly complementing savory curry.  Seasonal ingredients like cranberries and sweet potatoes complete a festive and healthy dish.

I envisioned the salad as an accompaniment to Thanksgiving (or any) dinner.  But it can also work as an entrée salad.  Just add some chopped Thanksgiving turkey (or some nice rotisserie chicken), leftover cranberry sauce and sweet potato and serve with a crusty bread. 

Yes, the holidays will be here before we know it.  Who’d like some easy-peasy? (P.S. for another time-saving tip consider stocking some of their preserves and syrups for hostess or teacher gifts!)  

With dried cranberries, roasted sweet potato and pecans this holiday chopped salad is tasty, festive and healthy.  And did I mention easy?  

Serve with wine?

5.0 from 2 reviews
Holiday Chopped Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
With dried cranberries, roasted sweet potato and pecans, this holiday chopped salad is tasty, festive and healthy. And did I mention easy?
Ingredients
Dressing
  • ¼ cup Pear with Honey and Ginger preserves
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon (overpour a little if you love curry)
  • 2 teaspoons sherry or skim milk
Salad
  • 1 sweet potato *see note
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (toasted if you wish)
  • 5 ounce package salad greens of your choice, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries *see note
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue or feta cheese
  • 3-4 very thin slices of red onion, chopped
Instructions
Make dressing
  1. Combine dressing ingredients. Whisk (smashing preserves slightly) until well combined. Set aside.
Assemble salad
  1. Peel sweet potato, then cut into ½ inch cubes. Toss in olive oil with salt & pepper, then roast at 400 F until starting to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool briefly.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chopped lettuce, cranberries, cheese, onion, roasted sweet potatoes and pecans.
  3. Top with dressing, then toss well to combine.
  4. Garnish with a fan of pear slices if desired. Once dressed, it should be served immediately.
Notes
If you want to use Thanksgiving leftovers, you can cube a leftover roasted sweet potato instead of cutting up and roasting one. Instead of dried cranberries, you can use chucks of gelled cranberry sauce. Just fully mix the salad first, then fold these in at the end to help them stay more intact.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2

 

Thanks to Quince and Apple for sponsorship and Wisconsin Whisk for coordination! 

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12 thoughts on “Festive Holiday Chopped Salad

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Cheri. I am a latecomer to the chopped salad front, but I found it liberating not to have to hand tear every lettuce leaf and just toss it all together!

    1. Inger Post author

      If you haven’t tried the syrups, David, that’s another goodie! In fact good reminder to go out and get some with my kids all home over Thanksgiving.

  1. grace

    i would love a salad like this–its components are all marvelous! incidentally, i’ve never tasted a quince and pronounced it incorrectly for the longest time. 🙂

    1. Inger Post author

      I remember needing a couple quince (quinces? 🙂 ) for a recipe years ago and searching everywhere. When I finally found and tried them I decided they were enough like apples that I could have used apples in that recipe. THat’s my one experience!

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