Balsamic Autumn Salad Redo

I posted about making this Balsamic Autumn Salad last week, but upon eating leftovers, I realized there are a few changes that I’d make. The main problem that I had is that there was almost too much liquid – or that the liquid is too runny. Even though everything was coated and I even used 2 apples, there was a ton of sauce in the bottom of the bowl in which it is stored and when you scoop it out. I love balsamic, so I didn’t want to strain out the dressing when I went to eat it, but sometimes when I’d stabbed a green bean or potato with my fork, the liquid would splash out, or at least drip enroute to my mouth. I realized that there is a really simple solution….reduce the sauce! By reduce, I don’t mean cut down on – I mean reduce it on the stove so it becomes thicker and sticks to the veggies and is less drippy. Here are the changes that I will make next time:

Balsamic Autumn Salad
1 lb. green beans
1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks 
1-2 large apples, cut into chunks
1T olive oil 
¼ cup sunflower seeds (I didn’t use these this time, but if I have them next time, I will)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ T honey (when balsamic is reduced, it sweetens, so I’ll cut back)
1t salt
½ T fresh rosemary (if using dry, only 3/4 t.)

1. Snap stem ends off green beans if desired. In a medium/large pot, fully submerge the green beans in water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 10-12 minutes or until your beans soften. Strain. Set aside.
2. While beans are boiling, start your dressing in a small saucepan. Mix together honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, and rosemary and turn heat to medium-high. When it just starting boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can decide how thick you want it, but remove it from the heat before it gets to that point because it will thicken more when removed from the heat. You will obviously have less sauce, but it will stick to the veggies better.
3. In a large skillet, saute sweet potato and apple in 1T olive oil until they turn golden and begin to soften.
4. Mix together drained beans, sautéed sweet potato and apples in a serving bowl (or storage container) and pour the dressing on top. Stir in sunflower seeds. Serve cold or slightly warm.

Next time I make this, I’ll post the results!  Let me know if you try it!

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