Sweet Potato, Ham & Blue Cheese Salad


Sweet Potato, Ham & Blue Cheese Salad

Do you ever grab those cooking magazines at the grocery checkout? The ones with titles like 101 Low-Fat Chicken Recipes and 250 Dinners Under $10? I have to admit, those magazines are one of my guilty pleasures. While some people check out the celebrities in Star and Us while waiting in line, I look at pictures of food. Usually the photos in those publications are amazing, but the recipes are, well, not so great. But this week I discovered a magazine that just might actually become one of my favorite cookbooks. It’s the winter issue of Cooking Fresh from Fine Cooking.

The entire magazine is loaded with recipes I want to make – so, you’ll probably be seeing a bunch of them here on A Passionate Plate…. starting with this one, my own variation of the cover recipe.

I love entree salads. Marvin does not. So I always have my eye out for “hearty” salads he might enjoy. When I spotted this one – made with chunks of ham caramelized in maple syrup, I thought to myself, “Salad for dinner tonight? Yes, this just might work.”

For me, what made this salad so enticing were the roasted sweet potatoes, the rosemary balsamic dressing, and fresh greens. The original recipe called for goat cheese. I substituted Point Reyes Blue and I added a sliced Fuji apple for some extra sweetness and crunch. We both LOVED it. The recipe makes enough for 4 servings. With just the two of us eating, we ended up with about 2 cups of roasted sweet potatoes, ham, apples and onion leftover and I’m going to turn them into breakfast hash. I think we’ll both like that, too. 🙂

Sweet Potato, Ham & Blue Cheese Salad

Recipe Type: Entree Salad
Author: A Passionate Plate adapted from Fine Cooking
Serves: 4
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise & cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved, and cut into 1/4″ half moons
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. ham steak, cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. high quality balsamic vinegar
  • 6 oz. mesclun salad mix or spinach
  • 4 oz. blue cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment.
  3. Combine the onion and sweet potato in a bowl and toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. chopped rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Spread the sweet potato and onion slices evenly over the baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables start to become tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. In the same bowl, toss together the ham, maple syrup and apple. When the vegetables are tender, push them to one side of the baking sheet to make room for the ham and apples. Spread the ham and apples out on the baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the ham and onions are nicely browned.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary.
  6. In a large bowl, toss 1/4 cup of the dressing with the greens.
  7. Portion the greens onto plates and top with the roasted vegetables and ham.
  8. Drizzle with extra dressing and sprinkle with blue cheese and additional black pepper.


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