This is a family-friendly dish that tags all the bases: color, protein and crunch, dressed with the sweetness of a honey-mustard vinaigrette.
The sweet potato rounds and turkey burgers cook simultaneously; ideally, both are done under the broiler to make cleanup easy.
Beer columnist Greg Kitsock recommends serving this salad with a glass of Belgian-style ale, such as Chimay White, or with a refreshing, dry summertime ale called a saison, such as Red Sky at Night by Clipper City Brewery.
- 2 medium (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total) sweet potatoes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey (do not use extra-lean; may substitute ground chicken)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 4 scallions, white and light-green parts only
- 4 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey mustard
Position the top oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Have ready a large broiler pan or grill pan.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil to brush them on both sides; arrange in a single layer on the broiler or grill pan, leaving room for 4 turkey burgers, if possible.
Shape the ground turkey into 4 patties; make them a uniform 1/2-inch thick, but they do not have to be round. Season on both sides with salt and pepper to taste and place on the same pan. Broil for 4 minutes, then turn the turkey burgers over and broil for 3 minutes or until their internal temperature registers 165 on an instant-read thermometer. (If they do not fit on the same pan, cook them on a separate grill pan or large skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat, turning them once, until they are done to the same internal temperature.) Transfer the burgers to a plate. The sweet potatoes should cook for a total of 10 to 12 minutes or until browned on the edges and tops and tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork. Transfer the broiler or grill pan to the stovetop (off the heat).
While the sweet potatoes and turkey burgers are cooking, cook the bacon in a small skillet or in the microwave until crisp; drain on paper towels and crumble when cooled. Prep the following ingredients and add to a large mixing bowl as you work: Stem and seed the yellow bell pepper, cutting the flesh into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup); coarsely chop the scallions (about 1/3 cup); wash and dry the spinach.
Mince the garlic and sprinkle with a little salt, then mash to form a paste. Transfer to a measuring cup and add the vinegar and honey mustard, stirring to combine. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup oil to make an emulsified vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the salad, cut the turkey burgers and sweet potato rounds into 1-inch pieces and add to the mixing bowl, along with the bacon and the vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine and coat with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning. Divide among individual plates and serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from "Salad Makes the Meal," by Wiley Mullins (Rodale, 2008).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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