Roasted Fall Veggie Salad with Cornbread Croutons

In his book, Thanksgiving, Sam Sifton makes the case that salads have no business being a part of the Thanksgiving spread.

“A salad is a perfect accompaniment to many meals, a hit of astringency that can improve some dinners hugely. Not this one. You can have your salad tomorrow.” {Sam Sifton, via Cup of Jo}

Well folks, it’s tomorrow.

I hope that each and every one of you had the happiest of Thanksgivings full of family, football, and most importantly, lots of good food. Am I right or am I right that you kind of never want to look at food again?

I’m also wagering that you have lots of leftovers hanging out in your fridge.

I’ve been making this little salad at least once a week all fall, and I’ve been dying to share it with y’all. It dawned on me a couple days ago that many of these veggies were probably on your thanksgiving tables, so in the spirit of Thanksgiving, be grateful for those leftovers. They’re about to be a truly great salad.

In the directions, I walk you through roasting the veggies, but really you can throw your already cooked leftovers in there and it will be a winner. It’s completely adaptable, so go wild!

Roasted sweet potatoes or yams with candied pecans? Add it.

The always present brussels that the kids wouldn’t touch? Add them.

Cranberry sauce? Why not?

How are you using up your Thanksgiving leftovers?

Roasted Fall Veggie Salad with Cornbread Croutons

Roasted Fall Veggie Salad with Cornbread Croutons

serves 2-4 depending on how hungry they are

{This genius recipe is from the lovely lady behind Naturally Ella, Erin. Very, very rarely do I follow recipes exactly. There are usually things I add or take away in order to improve or adapt the recipe to our tastes. I didn’t have to do any of that for this ingredient list. It’s pretty much perfection. I do have a few procedural short cuts to add though, so I thought I’d share it.}

1 loaf of Erin’s cornbread

To Roast
1 small sweet potato, cubed
about 15 brussels sprouts, quartered

To Toss
about 2 cups of spinach, {this is your salad base so adjust accordingly for how much you think you’ll eat}
6 oz blue cheese, crumbled

The Dressing
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp sweet whole grain mustard {we use Handelmeier}

Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C.

Whip up a loaf of Erin’s cornbread and pop it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. {To keep dirty bowls to a minimum, I always combine my wet ingredients in a mixing bowl first and then place a sieve over the bowl and measure my dry ingredients into it.}

While the cornbread is cooking, wash and chop your veggies. Leaving the skin on, because there are tons of nutrients in that stuff, chop your sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut off the base and quarter the brussels. Put them in your roasting pan and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Give them a toss and put them in the oven to roast for around 45 minutes.

about 15 minutes before the veggies are done roasting, chop your cornbread into little squares, toss with olive oil and rosemary and add them to the roasting pan to toast them up.

While those finish, put your spinach in a large mixing bowl and crumble the cheese over it. Also go ahead and shake up your dressing. {I put all of the ingredients in a mason jar and give it a shake. Super easy and beats the heck out of the store bought stuff in terms of flavor.}

When the veggies and croutons come out of the oven, transfer them to the big bowl and pour the dressing over the whole thing. Give it a toss and serve.

Roasted Fall Veggie Salad with Cornbread Croutons

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Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade

Last week I mentioned making a spiked lemonade to go with the shrimp tacos we had for our Labor Day celebration. Well folks, here it is!

We have loads of rosemary at the moment. It is quite literally taking over our herb garden, so I’ve taken to throwing it in everything: drinks, cakes, even the pumpkin ravioli I’m making tonight. Along with the slightly herby taste that the rosemary gives the simple syrup, I feel like the maple syrup compliments the bourbon beautifully. In my world, lemonade is a very summery drink, but the maple and the bourbon give it just a hint of Fall, making this the perfect accompaniment to a Labor Day feast or really, any feast this time of the year.

Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade | kiwi+peach

Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade

{makes about 4 drinks}

Rosemary Maple Simple Syrup
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup maple syrup
5 sprigs of rosemary, washed and leaves striped

The Spike
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice {about 3 lemons}
1/3 cup bourbon

Boil your jug and start heating up a pot on medium heat. Once the jug boils, measure your water into the pot and then whisk in the maple syrup. Add the sprigs of rosemary {stalk and leaves} and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

While the syrup is simmering, you can be juicing your lemons. Remember to roll them really well before you try to juice them. This will break up all the little membranes, and you will get so much more juice!

After a couple minutes of simmering, strain the syrup to remove all the rosemary bits. In a pitcher, stir together the juice, the bourbon, and the simple syrup. Pop it in the fridge for a few hours to cool.

Serve over ice. Extra rosemary optional but oh so pretty.

Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade | kiwi+peach

Maple Baked Beans with Apple Salsa

I think it’s high time I share my favorite baked beans recipe with you. No Southern get together seems to be complete without baked beans and everyone has a slightly different way of making them. I think that the apple salsa really takes mine to a whole new level in terms of taste as well as nutrition. I might go as far as to call these beans…healthy. {Or maybe not, there is still a good bit of sugar!} I can easily say that these are the best baked beans I’ve ever had. {Sorry Mama.} Give them a try this July 4th, and let me know if you agree!

Kiwi+Peach: Maple Baked Beans with Apple Salsa

Maple Baked Beans with Apple Salsa

3-4 slices of bacon {depending on the size of the dish you’re cooking the beans in}

The Beans
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

The Apple Salsa {inspired by Tupelo Honey Cafe}
1 granny smith apple
1/2 of a red pepper
1/2 of a green chili
1/4 of a sweet onion
1 tbsp honey
a dash of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C.

Put your bacon in a cold pan start heating over medium heat. You’re just doing this to render the fat, so once the white bit has become shiny and a bit translucent remove it from the heat. The bacon will cook completely in the oven, don’t worry.

In a medium bowl, combine your beans and BBQ sauce. Peel and dice your apple and add it to the bowl. Remove the seeds from the pepper and the chili. {Be careful with the chili seeds. Wash your hands with hot water and soap afterwards and avoid touching your eyes–ouch!} Dice them up and add them to the bowl. Peel and dice your onion and add it to the bowl too. Add in the bit of honey and salt and pepper and give it all a big stir.

Pour it into a baking dish. I used a 6in pie pan, but a 9×9 should be fine too {plus you’ll have room for more bacon}. Make a layer of bacon over the top and put it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes and you’re done!

{This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. That means that if you head over to Amazon from the link and choose to buy the book, a tiny bit of the money you spent on the book will come back to me for the referral.}