Spam and yam, roasted, served over a bed of fresh greens, and drizzled with homemade maple vinaigrette. An odd combination, you may undoubtedly notice. And, well, yes, it is, but very delicious, if you like Spam that is. This salad is very distinctly salt and sweet, but the combination really works wonderfully together.
Recipe makes enough for 2 dinner servings
STEPS 1 (maple vinaigrette):
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup good quality maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey mustard
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Into a blender (or using a hand-held stick blender) put all ingredients and blend until it is thick and creamy, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Note: If you are going to use the dressing right away, you don’t need to refrigerate. But do refrigerate the leftover in a tightly sealed jar, and it will keep for about 4 weeks.
STEPS 2 (roasting yams/sweet potatoes):
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Note: You can roast the yams (in its own sheet) and the onions & Spam (in their own sheet) at the same time in the oven—making use of 2 racks. This saves precious energy and time. So have ingredients for steps 2 and steps 3 chopped, tossed and ready spread in their parchment-lined baking sheets. Just remember that they will cook for different length of time.
2 cups (roughly 3/4-inch diced) yam or sweet potato (1-medium), peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brown-sugar, packed
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Ground chipotle powder or cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Toss all ingredients together, then spread out on the prepared baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes (tossing about halfway through cooking time, for even browning), or until potatoes are golden on the outside and tender on the inside when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool slightly.
STEPS 3 (roasting onions & Spam):
1/2 small (red or sweet) onion (roughly 1/2-cup), peeled and chopped small
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
6 ounces Spam (1/2 of a can), diced (roughly 3/4-inch)
Toss together the first 4 ingredients (onion, olive oil, salt, pepper). Spread the onion mixture on half of a prepared baking sheet and the Spam on the other half. Bake onion and Spam in the 425 degrees preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until onions begin to golden and look translucent and Spam is just browning. Set aside to cool slightly.
STEPS 4 (assembling salad):
4 cups butter leaf lettuce (or greens of choice), measured loosely
Maple vinaigrette from steps 1
Roasted yams or sweet potatoes from steps 2
Roasted onion and Spam from steps 3
In a large bowl toss the lettuce with some of the maple vinaigrette, only just enough to lightly coat the greens (about 1/3 cup). Divide the lettuce between two dinner plates. Now divide the yam/sweet potato and onion and Spam between both plates, and drizzle more maple vinaigrette if you so choose.
Serve this salad with a crisp white wine (to cleanse the palate from every bite of savory & sweet), such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, and enjoy!
Cook with heart; eat with gusto. Buen Provecho!