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

  • Prep 20 minutes
  • Cook 1.5-2 hours total
  • Yield 2 large or 4 small servings


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


  • 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.