In the Charlottesville area, many people rave about the pizza at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. I go there for their salads.
Last week, an arugula and sweet potato salad with truffle vinaigrette and goat cheese had me practically licking my plate clean. Completely enamored, I spent about 10 minutes describing its glory to Michael later that afternoon. As he appeared unimpressed by my descriptive skills, it was time to show, not tell, just how delicious their salad was.
Rather than drive back to Dr. Ho’s, it was time to test whether I could recreate the tastiness in my own kitchen. First, I decided to splurge on some truffle oil. (You only need a little bit, and it’s well worth it if you like truffles. But, if you’re truffle-ambivalent or looking to save some money, just use some extra virgin olive oil in its place and you should be fine.)
Next, I had my second major food processing failure. One of the key components of the Dr. Ho’s salad was toasted, sliced almonds. In my DIY enthusiasm, I thought to myself, “Self, you have a food processor with slicing blades and whole almonds; get to it!” Unfortunately, some things are just NOT that easily accomplished. After picking out salvageable shards of almonds from the remaining finely ground almond meal, I swore to only buy pre-slivered almonds in the future. Based on this thread on Chowhound, there is really no quick and easy way to slice almonds at home.
That out of the way, all I really had to do was chop and assemble most of the ingredients. The verdict? Wows all around. Thank you, Dr. Ho’s, for the salad inspiration!
Truffled Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad
Lemon Truffle Vinaigrette
- Juice of 1 lemon (~2 T.)
- 2 T. white truffle oil
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- champagne vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
Combine lemon juice, truffle oil, and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add a splash of champagne vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Dressing can be made 2-3 days in advance, just warm to room temperature before serving.
- 3-4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 small onions, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 T. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. baby arugula
- 1-1/2 hearts of romaine, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 c. sliced almonds
- 4 oz. goat cheese
Steps 1 and 2 should be done about 2 hours before serving the salad to allow time for the sweet potatoes and onions to cool to room temperature.
- Heat your oven to 350. Toss the sweet potatoes and onion slices with olive oil to lightly coat and season with salt and pepper. Roast 35-45 minutes or until tender, shaking the pan at about the 25 minute mark. When they are done, set aside to cool.
- Use the oven to toast your almond slices. This will take about 8 minutes. Shake the pan once around 5 minutes and then keep an eye on them (they can flip from browning to burning in an instant!). Let these cool, as well.
- Assemble the salad: toss the arugula and romaine with the dressing and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Arrange the sweet potatoes and onions on top of the salad and put the goat cheese in the center.
I served this on New Year’s Eve with my first-ever beef standing rib roast. And then I patted myself on the back just a little bit for a job well done. Enjoy!