I’m not usually one for puns, but you guys…naming this salad, literally all I wanted to call it was “Orange You Glad You Ate This Salad?” I mean, it’s orange and it has blood orange vinaigrette! In other news, I am a totally hip and with it person. Cheesy puns aside, there is a bit of truth in that ridiculous moniker. I am very glad I ate this! This was inspired by something Caroline and I ordered at a restaurant recently. While the first version was just okay, I’m happy to report that the homemade version blew me away.

I’m a firm believer that almost any ingredient can be delicious if it is prepared the right way. Normally, I’m not especially fond of either sweet potatoes or carrots, but in this dish I love them both. This is such a fantastic option for a light lunch or a seasonal healthy side dish. The veggies are tasty and satisfying, the pear adds sweetness, and the citrus vinaigrette brightens the whole thing at once.

While it would have been more convenient to toss the veggies all together, roast at once, and call it good, I knew the key to a perfectly done salad was perfectly done veggies. This meant par cooking the potatoes and roasting the two separately. While this may seem inconvenient, it actually works out beautifully. You can par cook, roast the potatoes, and roast the carrots whenever it might be convenient for you. I actually made this over the course of a busy work week, doing one thing at a time whenever I had time to complete a step. I finally put it all together on the weekend and was blown away by the final result. Try it out and see for yourself. Seriously, orange you glad you ate this? :D

Ingredients

For the salad: 

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¾- to 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 small-medium or 2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup shelled and peeled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp. finely minced shallot
  • 4 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. blood orange zest
  • ¼ cup blood orange juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt

Directions

  • 01

    To par-cook the potatoes, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and add in 2 cups of room temperature water. At this point, the temperature should be around 175˚ F. Add the peeled sweet potato chunks to the water, cover, and let sit for about 2 hours. Drain the potatoes well. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to roast them.

  • 02

    When you are ready to roast the sweet potatoes, heat the oven to 400˚ F. Combine the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with coarse salt and black pepper. Spread the potatoes in an even layer onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast, stirring 2-3 times during cooking, until the outsides are beginning to brown slightly and the texture is just tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes total. Let cool briefly, then transfer to a mixing bowl.

  • 03

    To roast the carrots, place a baking sheet lined with foil (I reused the same baking sheet set up) to the oven and heat to 500˚ F, so that the baking sheet preheats for about 10 minutes. Combine the carrots with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to the heated baking sheet. Roast, tossing once or twice during cooking, until the outsides look golden brown and slightly bubbly, about 15 minutes total. Let cool briefly, then transfer to the bowl with the sweet potatoes.

  • 04

    To make the vinaigrette, combine the shallot and vinegar in a jar or liquid measuring cup. Let stand 15 minutes to allow the shallot to macerate. Add in the blood orange zest, blood orange juice, olive oil, and salt. Whisk vigorously (or cover the jar with the lid and shake) until the mixture is well combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

  • 05

    When you are ready to serve the salad, add the pistachios and feta to the bowl with the potatoes and carrots. Toss gently to combine. Transfer to serving bowls or plates, drizzle lightly with the vinaigrette, and top with pear slices.

Source

  • Tracy

    I can always count on you to make things that I would normally think are super weird combinations look and sound so mouth-watering! This looks delicious!

    I also wanted to comment on the new website design after having lived with it for awhile. First, I have to say that I LOVE that you’re sharing more with us than food – I really enjoy your other posts, from crafting and clothing to your always well thought out and well-worded commentary on our current social and political climate. For some reason, anything as a slideshow doesn’t always want to work for me, and if I click to display it as a list, then the links don’t work. I wanted to suggest repeating the prep and cook time and yield of a recipe again with the ingredient list. I always read your posts as they come up in my feed reader, but then later when I go back to make them and am working on my grocery list, I scroll down for a recipe, then realize I’m not sure if I should be doubling or halving the recipe, and have to scroll back up to figure out how much it makes. Not generally an issue for a short recipe like this one, but for one with a lot of steps and pictures, I would find that small change helpful. Just two small things – overall, I like the new design – it’s so pretty!

    I finally got some pasta attachments for my Kitchen Aid for Christmas, so you were the first person I turned to for a pasta recipe – I made your dough for fettuccine this weekend, and it was FANTASTIC! So much easier than I anticipated! Thanks!

  • Annie

    Tracy, thank you so much for your feedback! I contacted my site peeps about the broken links in list format awhile ago but I think this was around the holidays and it slipped through the cracks. We’re working to get it corrected asap. I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I also like your idea about repeating yield, etc. closer to the recipe body. I just forwarded that to them and we are working on that as well.

    Glad this recipe looks good to you! I agree, this combo is not normally something I would have expected to like but I was shocked by just how much I love it! And congrats on making pasta!