2medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1lbparsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4small purple-top turnips, about 3/4 lb, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 to 5ouncesfresh spinach leaves, chopped
6ouncesromaine lettuce, chopped
1Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4cupdark brown sugar
4tablespoonscrumbled blue cheese
For the dressing (see notes):
1/2medium shallot, very finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
2tablespoonsapple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking pan with parchment.
Fry the bacon until crisp and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Add 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings to a large bowl and stir in the vegetable oil. Add the sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper and toss them to coat with the oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sweet potatoes to a section of the prepared baking pan.
Add the parsnips to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat with the oil mixture. Transfer to the baking pan alongside the sweet potatoes and repeat the process with the turnips.
Roast the vegetables until tender and lightly caramelized, 20 to 35 minutes, turning once about midway through the cooking time. Roasting times can vary so keep an eye on the different varieties and remove them from the oven as needed.
Once cooked, set the vegetables aside to cool for 10 minutes.
While the vegetables roast, make the candied walnuts. Combine the brown sugar and water in a 2-cup, microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Add the walnuts and stir to coat.
Microwave on high for 2-1/2 minutes and stir. If the sugar mixture has developed a thick, taffy-like consistency, the nuts are done. If not, return them to the microwave in 10 second increments until the consistency is right. Be careful not to overcook.
Transfer the nuts to a sheet of parchment paper, separate them and set aside to cool.
To make the dressing, add the shallot, vinegar, mustard and honey to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the oil until well blended.
Add the spinach, romaine lettuce, apple and reserved bacon to a large bowl. Drizzle half of the dressing over the mixture, toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the lettuce mix between 4 serving plates. Top each with a portion of roasted vegetables, some candied walnuts and a tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese.
Drizzle the remaining dressing over each salad and serve immediately.
Tips for Making This Recipe
Because the roasted root vegetables have so much flavor on their own, we feel this salad really doesn't need a lot of dressing. Consequently, our recipe only makes about 1/2 cup. If you prefer your salads more heavily dressed, we suggest doubling the dressing quantity. You can always refrigerate what's leftover for another day.