Yesterday was sunny all day and still warm at 6pm. I set the table on the patio and we enjoyed dinner Al Fresco with a bottle of organic apple cider made by a friend’s family on Saltspring Island.
Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox, first day of Fall. I will be hosting 6 of our closest friends for the Mabon (Witches Thanksgiving) Feast. I host his dinner every year. We’ll gather around 5pm for appies, Kir Royales and catching up. Dinner will be served at 6:30pm and the rest of the evening we’ll play games and draw Tarot cards and read each other’s fortune.
Colourful root vegetables are everywhere this time of year and I was inspired to make this salad with roasted yams, stovetop candied pecan and a delicious vinaigrette for last nights dinner.
You Will Need:
chopped baby spinach
1 yam. Peeled, diced and roasted
dried organic unsulphered cranberries
Set the oven to 425F and while it’s heating, peel and dice your yams into bite sized pieces. Place them in a baking pan and sprinkle generously with sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes (or until soft).
I couldn’t find candied pecans at the grocery store so I made my own. I always think food tastes better anyway when it’s home made and with just 4 ingredients, you really can’t go wrong with these.
Chop 1 cup of pecans into smaller pieces and place in a pan over medium/high heat.
Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon of butter into the pan and a good sprinkling of ground Cinnamon.
Stir all ingredients to combine. Don’t turn your back on these though. Sugar burns quickly. You’ll want to be ready to remove these when they look ready (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a cutting board or a pan lined with parchment paper and separate the pecans with 2 forks, if not they’ll just stick together and break when you try to separate them once cooled.
These come out so buttery and delicious. They almost have a toffee brittle flavour. Yumm.
Now let’s make a creamy vinaigrette for the salad.
In the blender add:
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard ( I like the kind that have seeds in them)
1 Shallot (or 1/4 of a small red onion)
2 Tblsp Lemons Juice
1 Tblsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tblsp Brown Sugar
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
By now my yams were ready and it’s time to assemble the salad! In a bowl add chopped spinach and drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette and mix to coat each leaf. Now add the yams, candied pecans and dried cranberries. Add another drizzle of the dressing and you’re ready to serve!
Until next time.