With dried cranberries, roasted sweet potato and pecans, this holiday chopped salad is tasty, festive and healthy. And did I mention easy?
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!
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.
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!
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?)!
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!)
- 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
- 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
- Combine dressing ingredients. Whisk (smashing preserves slightly) until well combined. Set aside.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, combine chopped lettuce, cranberries, cheese, onion, roasted sweet potatoes and pecans.
- Top with dressing, then toss well to combine.
- Garnish with a fan of pear slices if desired. Once dressed, it should be served immediately.
Thanks to Quince and Apple for sponsorship and Wisconsin Whisk for coordination!
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