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A Halloween treasure hunt is always a fun adventure, and even more intriguing when the hunt is right on your plate. This autumn-inspired salad hides a delicious and highly nutritious little treasure that becomes even tastier when drizzled with a lively dressing made from a base of cooked sweet potatoes.
I prepared this salad for a banquet held in late October and was fortunate enough to hear some of the enthusiastic comments. I think it was the dramatic fall colors that sparked a few oooohs.
And I have to confess, I had fun concocting this salad course--the colors still dazzle me! I love the brilliant color contrast of those deep purple lettuces accented with the yellows and oranges that top the greens.
I thought the Hidden Treasure Salad made such an eye appealing presentation, why serve it just for Halloween. The salad would make a gorgeous first course for Thanksgiving, too! And the ingredients are available throughout the entire autumn and winter season.
I hope you'll give the Tangy Sweet Potato Dressing a try. It was the autumn season, my favorite time of year, that inspired me to create a salad topping made from sweet potatoes--they're one of my favorite foods.
HIDDEN TREASURE SALAD
FOR HALLOWEEN FESTIVITIES
Yield: 6 servings
Hidden Treasure Salad
12 mini white potatoes
6 yellow or orange mini bell peppers
12 ounces (340g) mixed baby lettuces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
4 cups (1 liter) finely chopped purple cabbage
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) long, thin julienne
1 cup (240 ml) pomegranate seeds
6 large pimento stuffed green olives (optional)
Tangy Sweet Potato Dressing (Makes about 2 3/4 cups/600 ml)
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) plus 2 tablespoons water
3/4 pound ((340g) yellow or orange sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and mashed
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh lemon juice
5 to 6 pitted dates, snipped in half
1 garlic clove
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- TO MAKE THE HIDDEN TREASURE SALAD, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (Gas Mark 6) Put the mini potatoes and mini bell peppers on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes and remove the mini peppers. Set them aside to cool. Roast the potatoes 10 minutes longer for a total of 30 minutes. Remove them and set them aside to cool while preparing the remaining salad ingredients.
- Combine the lettuces, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, and purple cabbage in a large salad bowl and mix well.
- To assemble the salad, place 2 mini potatoes in the center of each salad plate. Heap the lettuce mixture over the potatoes. Place 2 or more carrot sticks on each plate and sprinkle the salad with pomegranate seeds. Top each salad with a roasted mini pepper and a pimento stuffed green olive. Serve the dressing on the side.
- TO MAKE THE DRESSING, combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
- Using a funnel, pour the dressing into one or two narrow-neck bottles for easy serving. Use immediately or chill until ready to serve.
- For convenience, the dressing can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Refrigerated, it will keep for up to 6 days.
For a tasty dressing variation, a add 3 tablespoons rice vinegar and 3 pitted dates and blend until smooth and creamy.
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