Happy 2019! My intention to hit the ground running in the new year with multiple posts per week was quickly derailed. So far, my new year has included traveling home from the holiday with an infant and a toddler, a painful neck spasm (likely from carrying said infant and all his accompanying gear), a family wedding, a nasty stomach flu and an impending move. Did I mention we bought a house?! Yes, we are trading in city life for the suburbs in just a few weeks. And, no, I have not started packing! Oh, joy! My new year has decidedly not been filled with virtuous cleansing meals, mindful meditation or any exercise beyond frantically rushing Rose to school. We’ve just been in survival mode. Current mantra: Let it Go (mostly because Frozen is the soundtrack to our lives this week!).
To procrastinate even further and avoid thinking about packing up our apartment, I thought I’d pop in to share the recipe for one of my all-time favorite salads. It takes advantage of the bountiful winter citrus bedazzling the otherwise dreary produce stands these days, combining tangy blood and Cara Cara oranges with fresh fennel, roasted sweet potatoes and avocado. A flavorful and slightly creamy miso-tahini dressing elevates this simple combination to crave-worthy status.
Feel free to prep the roasted sweet potatoes and the dressing in advance, and, while you’re at it, double both for a week of delicious lunch salads at your fingertips. You could bulk up this salad even further with the addition of lentils, a scoop of hummus, rotisserie chicken, roasted salmon or simply a large slice of sourdough bread.
I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start! I am brimming with new ideas for this space — lots of simple recipes, nourishing little treats and tips for feeding babies and toddlers. Now I just have to get packing…stay tuned!
For the salad:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced or shaved on a mandolin
- 1 cara cara orange (or naval), segmented
- 1 blood orange, segmented
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- 4 heaping cups lettuce (I like arugula here)
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 2 tbsp orange juice (from approx. half an orange)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp avocado or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2–3 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place diced sweet potato on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado or extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out in an even layer. Roast for approximately 20 minutes until tender and starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Whisk together dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary to reach a drizzle-able consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Remove sweet potato from oven and allow to cool slightly. Prep the remaining ingredients — shave/slice the fennel, segment the oranges and dice the avocado.
- Assemble the salad. Toss together lettuce, sweet potatoes, citrus, fennel and avocado with dressing. You may have leftover dressing — all the better. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!
The amount of water necessary to thin out the dressing will vary depending on the consistency of your tahini. Start with 1-2 tablespoons and add more as needed.
I adore this tahini — it is perfectly runny.