A Light Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad

February 22, 2010 · 7 comments

filed in: Gluten-Free,Salads,Side Dishes,Vegetables,Vegetarian/Vegetarian Option

A Light Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad

Even in fall and winter, many of us still crave the satisfying crunch of a good salad. However, finding seasonal salad fixings obviously poses more of a challenge in the cold months than in summer, when fresh, locally-grown tomatoes and lettuce are at their best and reasonably priced.

This recipe combines seasonally available spinach, sweet potatoes, parsnips, avocados, toasted pecans, and gorgonzola cheese in a light, citrus-flavored yogurt dressing. The faintly sweet flavor of this salad makes it a perfect side dish for a pork roast dinner or, topped with sliced chicken breast, a light main course salad.


For the dressing:

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon tangerine or orange juice concentrate
1/2 garlic clove, finely minced or pressed
4 drops hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

10 ounces young spinach leaves
1 medium-sized sweet potato, boiled, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 small parsnip, peeled and shredded
1/2 small onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1 small, firm Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into wedges
1/4 cup lightly toasted pecan halves
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 teaspoon gorgonzola cheese (or chevre), crumbled


  1. In a small bowl or cup, combine all dressing ingredients and stir until well blended.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and toss lightly. Serves 4 as a side dish salad.

I’ve been making and freezing my own citrus juice concentrate lately from excess fruit grown in my garden. The approach is described in the recipe for Very Tangerine (or Orange) Poppy Seed Cake.

print recipe print recipe

You might also like...

Leave a Comment

{ 7 Comments...read them below or add one }

Laurie March 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I roasted the sweet potato and red onion, used lightly candied walnuts, and trader joes Greek feta salad dressing instead of gorgonzola and this salad came out great! I forgot to add my avocado, but didn’t seem to notice. Thanks for the recipe!


Barbara March 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

That sounds like an excellent adaptation of the recipe, Laurie, which I must try. I never make this recipe — or any others for that matter! — the same way twice. Variety and innovation are the spices of meal time pleasure as far as I’m concerned, and I like what you’ve done with this recipe.


marla {family fresh cooking} November 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm

This salad is the perfect side to heavier Thanksgiving dishes. You and I are loving the sweet potatoes in salad. The yogurt dressing is a nice twist. xo


megan March 4, 2010 at 10:08 am

What a nice looking salad. I’m going to try that dressing for sure!


Megan February 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm

What a gorgeous presentation-all the flavors in this salad sound so delicious and refreshing!


arugulove February 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

What a great combination. I never would have thought to combine some of these ingredients, thanks for the idea!


Barbara February 23, 2010 at 6:04 am

Many thanks. I’ve always had an expansive view of what can go in a salad (ahem!) and try to eat produce grown locally or in my own garden. That said, I thought the flavors worked pretty well for an uber-light winter/fall salad.


Previous post:

Next post: