This recipe takes inspiration from Thanksgiving’s pantry ingredients: Apples, leftover from apple pie, are the salad’s real star, while the pumpkin vinaigrette — also of pie fame — plays an important supporting role.
It could be made for the holiday feast, or to use up leftovers the day after.
I cut the apples into small cubes and quickly roast them in a little salt and rosemary at high heat, and the little cubes turn into sweet, herbaceous nuggets of flavor — like raisins, but better — and make other ingredients almost unnecessary. I add leftover turkey for protein, almonds for crunch and tomatoes for a tiny bit of acid.
You could even add blue cheese or feta if you happened to have some floating around the house, leftover from a cheese party platter.
Feel free to swap out ingredients: As long as you are topping winter greens with something warm, whether roasted Brussels sprouts or salmon, you’ll be on your way to a tasty winter green salad.
GREEN SALAD WITH ROASTED APPLES
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place cubed apple on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spray with olive oil mister to coat. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt; gently toss to coat. Bake just until tender and edges are starting to brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
To make vinaigrette: Place pumpkin puree, water, vinegar and maple syrup in small bowl. Whisk in olive oil until well-blended. Stir in remaining ingredients.
To assemble salad: Place spinach in bowl; top with tomatoes, chicken, almonds and warm, roasted apples. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 239 calories, 8 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 336 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 20 g protein.