Caramelized Apple Salad, with Sweet Parsnip Puree

We try to have a salad for dinner every week (sometimes twice). The trick to a dinner salad is pack it full of 'belly filling' ingredients, while considering all of the important flavor notes. This salad does just that, considering sweet and sour, while incorporating lots of filling vegetables and fruits. Purees are great underneath greens because they add another texture that makes the meal that much more delicious.

Ingredients (serves 4):
Salad Dressing:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp tamari (you can use soy sauce, but less)

1/8 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

4 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 tblsp margarine
1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger

Soy, rice, almond milk until desired consistency (about 1/2 cup)

Salad Mix:

1 Bag of your favorite mixed greens
1/2 tart apple (green works well), thinly sliced

1/2 cup walnuts
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 pinch salt

1) For the Salad Dressing: In a small pan over medium heat add vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes (or until it reduces slightly; you'll know its ready when it lightly coats the back of a spoon). Remove from the heat, and let cool. Once cool place in a processor, blender or use a whisk, blending in olive oil until a nice dressing is made. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
2) For the Puree: In a medium pot, over medium heat, melt margarine. Add parsnips and salt, sauteing for about 5 minutes, or until the parsnips begin to soften, shaking occasionally. Add ginger and saute for an additional 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let parsnips simmer until soft (about 8 minutes). Most of the liquid will soak into the vegetables. Once softened, transfer all ingredients to a blender or processor, adding milk until smooth. Add more salt to taste. Place in the fridge to keep cool.
3) For the candied walnuts: Melt the margarine in a pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts, and shake to cover with the margarine. Add sugar and salt, shaking until the walnuts are covered (about 2 minutes). Place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 4 minutes (making sure not to burn them). Set aside to cool.
4) For the Salad Mix: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dressing into the mix, and fold to combine. Set aside.
4) Divide puree on to the center of 4 plates. Place a large handful of salad on top of the puree, and drizzle with remaining dressing. Enjoy!

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