Winter Chopped Salad with roasted sweet potato, apples, and a delicious white balsamic dressing. Serve this hearty, nutrient-rich salad as an entree, or to compliment your protein of choice.
Easy Chopped Salad For a Crowd:
This veg-centric winter wonder features some of the BEST seasonal produce. For example, bitter chicories, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, apples, and pomegranate. It’s hearty and filling enough to serve on its own, however also pairs well with any protein. Baked fish, roasted chicken, steak, or sautéed tofu to name a few. It’s also brimming with good-for-you nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamins C and K, polyphenols, and fiber.
To tie all these glorious fruits and veggies together, a simple white balsamic dressing delivers maximum flavor. The dressing can be made way ahead, and is delicious on just about any salad combination. I typically double the batch to ensure I have a dynamite dressing on hand when the salad craving strikes. (Which, if you know me, is quite often.)
Serve this stunner of a salad for holiday get togethers this season, or to perk up any weeknight dinner.
How to Make a Chopped Salad:
If you’re like me and find slicing and dicing to be therapeutic, this recipe is for you! Although the sweet potatoes require roasting, there are no other components of this salad that call for cooking. And there are certainly time-saving hacks if you’re able to prep some of the ingredients in advance. For example, you can roast the sweet potatoes and make the dressing days ahead. You can also chop the lettuces and shred the sprouts a day or two in advance. Just store them in an air-tight container to maintain maximum freshness.
Once all of your ingredients are chopped, toss them with the dressing and add your garnishes! My favorites for this salad are pomegranate arils, pecans, and Parmesan cheese. The pomegranate arils add juicy pops of sweetness, and the pecans provide crunch and nutty richness. And I just find most salads to be better with cheese, so the salty strips of Parmesan come in clutch.
If you’re prepping the whole salad ahead for a party or dinner gathering, just wait to dress it until right before serving. This way, the greens will stay crisp and the flavor vibrant. Or, you can substitute the romaine for a sturdier green like kale, which holds up well even after being dressed.
The Best Chopped Salad Dressing:
This white balsamic dressing is as easy as it is versatile. It only requires a handful of ingredients, and can be made days to a week ahead. In fact, I recommend to double the batch from the start so you have extra on hand.
The main component of this dressing is white balsamic vinegar, which is floral and fruity with a sweet finish. Its flavor is a bit more mild than dark balsamic vinegar, which I love for salad dressing. Also in the mix is shallots and Dijon mustard for a little zing, and honey to soften and sweeten the bite. Emulsify the dressing with extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and your voila! A 10 minute dressing that puts store-bought dressings to shame. If you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations! And don’t forget to follow along on Pinterest and Facebook for the latest recipe updates.
Other Favorite Salad Recipes:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt, divided
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 small head of radicchio, finely chopped
- 6 oz. Brussels sprouts, finely chopped or shaved on a mandoline
- 1 apple, cored and finely chopped (I like Honey Crisp)
- 1 (15-oz.) can navy beans, rinsed and drained (sub chickpeas)
- ½ pecan halves, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: pomegranate arils
- *White Balsamic Dressing*
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh shallots
- 3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. each salt and black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss sweet potatoes in oil and ¼ tsp salt; spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned, tossing halfway through, about 35 minutes. Set aside to slightly cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare dressing by combining shallots, vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk, and let sit 10 minutes. Gradually stream in olive oil, stirring continuously with a whisk, until combined.
- Combine romaine, radicchio, Brussels, apple, beans, and sweet potatoes in a large bowl; toss with remaining ¼ tsp salt. Add dressing and toss to combine. Arrange on a serving platter, and top with pecans, cheese, and pomegranate arils. Serve immediately.