Spinach Salad with Sweet Potato, Bacon, Walnuts, and Pomegranates

This bountiful salad fills every bite with new tastes. Pomegranates provide little explosions of flavor that give this salad a respite from the ordinary.

Serves 8

16 oz nitrate-free bacon

1 medium yam, washed, peeled, cut into ½-inch cubes, about 2 cups

Pinch of garlic salt

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground ginger

Pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

18–24 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried

¼ cup Gruyere, grated or your favorite cheese

A few handfuls of pomegranate seeds

A handful of whole walnuts

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 shallot, diced

½ tsp Grey Poupon

Ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in the center. In a large frying pan, cook bacon until brown and crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Reserve 1 teaspoon bacon fat and set aside to cool. Crumble bacon.
  2. Toss cubes with garlic salt, cinnamon, ginger, ground sea salt, black pepper, and bacon fat. Spread cubes on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Roast in oven for about 30-35 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Turn once with tongs about halfway through cooking time for even browning. Remove yams from oven and let cool.
  3. Whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallot, and Grey Poupon mustard. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  4. Place baby spinach in a large bowl. Top with bacon crumbles, roasted yams, Gruyere, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Toss with vinaigrette.