Tag Archives: gorgonzola cheese

Roasted Sweet Potato, Parsley and Gorgonzola Salad

Anyone down here in south Florida will agree, we have morphed from the cool sweetness of spring to the sweltering heat of summer.  Now is the time I send my husband out to the grill with a tray heaped on one side with marinated flank steak, boneless chicken breasts or thick tuna steaks.  The other half of the tray is covered with skewered grape tomatoes, corn rubbed with olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper and red pepper wedges also drizzled with olive oil.  My contribution to this meal is prepared in the conditioned air comfort of my kitchen.  Roasted sweet potato, parsley and gorgonzola salad is ideal for summer dinners as it can be prepared the night before serving or in the morning when the temperature has not begun its intolerable climb.  This salad is cool and light yet has heft.  You will not feel hunger pangs an hour or two after eating it.  Oh, no.  Not with this salad.

It marries well with grilled and/or spicy flavors…especially spicy heat.  The sweet potatoes tame the flames of cayenne, harissa, serrano and scotch bonnet.  I’m crazy about the clean, lemony flavor the parsley leaves impart.  Aside from being good-looking, the green leaves cut through the richness of the sweet potatoes and gorgonzola with a cleansing, citrusy flavor.  It also travels well making it a favorite for picnics at the beach, concerts in the park or poolside dinners while we’re wrapped in cotton towels heavy with dampness and enjoy those last rays of sunlight at 8:00 at night.  Take it outside and enjoy the beginning of summer!

Roasted Sweet Potato, Parsley and Gorgonzola Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to your liking
  1. Place olive oil, vinegar and garlic into a bender, magic bullet or mini food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Taste for salt and pepper and add to your liking.
  3. Chill until serving.

Salad:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, that’s about 5 large potatoes
  • 2 small sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the onions, salt and pepper and olive oil to bowl and toss well with your hands until the potatoes and onions are completely covered with the oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the potato mixture to the baking sheet, spreading to make an even layer.
  5. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. Chill until ready to serve.
  8. To serve add the gorgonzola cheese and parsley leaves to the salad.
  9. Drizzle 1/2 cup dressing over the salad and, very gently, toss to combine being careful not to smash the potatoes.
  10. If the salad needs more dressing, add one tablespoon at a time, gently tossing until thoroughly mixed.
  11. Taste for salt and pepper.

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House Salad, Unplugged

When we were in high school, summer was incredible!  Just about everyday was spent at the same beach, with the same friends, doing the same things…a whole bunch of nothing!!  For some reason, I was responsible for my little brother and sister so, like it or not, they went to the beach with me.  All day, everyday.  We’d get to the beach at maybe  ten or eleven in the morning and I wouldn’t see them again for another good five or six hours! Nice, huh?  We’d unload the car and somewhere between the pool and the bar we’d go our separate ways.  I’d find my girlfriends, they were all ready oiled up, so I would break out my Ban de Soleil grease and lie back for a couple of HOURS of sun and a Diet Coke!!  Can you imagine lying in the sun for a couple of HOURS?  It’s not all the alcohol I’ve had that makes me look so bad… it’s all that sun!  After a few hours of heat and gossip my friend Andrea, we called her Ang, just like Barney called Andy in “The Andy Griffith Show”, would ask, “anybody want to go play Mermaid?” “Yeah.  Sure.  I’ll go.”, I would answer.  Y’all need to know we were the ONLY ones who EVER played “Mermaid”.  It was a long walk down the beach to the jetties which was the only place we played “Mermaid”.  For those of you who don’t know, the jetties is a man-made barrier of enormous, stacked boulders forming the north side of the mouth of Port Everglades, cruise ship capital of the world.  Well, ever so carefully we would climb up and down those rocks, slowly making our way to the end of the point.  It seemed so far, the waves would just crash against those rocks.  We didn’t dare look around or even think about what we were doing because one slip and we would have fallen far, far down those rocks and split our heads open like a Crenshaw melon!!  It was well worth it, tho!  When we were finally standing on top of the very last boulder, we’d fluff our hair and wait for a cruise ship.  Let the game begin!  We’d hear the bellowing horn of a ship announcing it’s departure, and see the mammoth vessel inching its way to sea, decks packed with pasty, white Midwesterners in their Hawaiian shirts frantically waving.  Ang and I would WHIP OFF OUR BATHING SUIT TOPS AND WAVE TOPLESS… LIKE MERMAIDS!!  Long, slow waves to all those old people!  We’d sway back and forth as if listening to “Hey, Jude”!  Jaws dropped.  Women scowled. We’d laugh and smile.  We were happy.  We were stars.  Some years back when Andrea’s mom was going though chemo, I wanted to take her mind off things so I told her about how we played Mermaid.  She looked so resigned.  She dropped her head and looked away.  But when she looked back up, was she laughing!!  Her eyes sparkled! Did she ever howl over that one!!  I like that memory.  A little later we’d head back for lunch and order the same thing, day in, day out, no matter who was there, this lunch was a constant.  Our favorite summer lunch was an iced coffee with milk, and a small dinner salad with blue cheese dressing, “just a little, please!” We would linger over that lunch FOR EVER.  And that’s all we had all day.  That’s it.  Well, maybe another Diet Coke to take back to the pool.  That salad was always soooo good!  Cold and crunchy with lots of cracked black pepper and little bits of blue cheese.  Sometime in the late afternoon, the sun would begin to set and I’d realize I still had my little brother and sister to track down.  After gathering them up, we’d make that long, hot trek across the asphalt back to my car.  My car.  I loved my little car, but in the summer it was a hot box, an inferno, a portable heater, AND too small for air conditioning.  Top down, still hot as blue blazes, we’d drive over to the graveyard on SR 84.  It was always open and anyone could go in.  The road inside was really curvy and wound around and around.  In the summertime it seemed like the gargantuan cemetery sprinklers were always on.  So, top down, we’d fly through whooping and hollering, the kids screaming when that cold water hit!  It was glorious!   Wet and happy, we’d head home.  It was a GOOD summer!

This is my House Salad which can be served as a side salad or main course.  It pairs beautifully with everything!  Anything grilled or jerked, seafood, chicken, pork, even more vegetables.  Tonight we’re having my House Salad with grilled medallions of eggplant on garlic whole grain crostini.  Because Gorgonzola is kind of strong, I’m careful not to add too much otherwise it will dwarf the buttery mildness of the avocado and peach-like flavor of the mango.  Hey!  Peach would be good in this!  Just make certain the avocado and whatever kind of fruit you’re using are ripe.  The ingredients really compliment each other.  You’ll love it!!  It’ll make you feel like a Mermaid!

House Salad

Yield:  4 side salads or 2-3 as main course

  • 1 large head leaf lettuce, washed, dried and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped into 1/4″ pieces, be careful – they’re slippery!
  • 1 ripe Haas avocado, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
  • 2-3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 2-3 tbls. good olive oil
  • 1-2 tbls. white vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, toss gently.
  2. To avoid a wilted salad, serve immediately.