In the summer, with a bounty of freshly picked vegetables like juicy tomatoes, refreshing cucumbers, and tender greens, it is natural to think of salads. But when the weather turns colder, many of us forget about tossing together this type of vegetable mixture. Enter the winter salad: heartier than their summer counterparts while still wholesome, making the most of vegetables that remain sturdy through the frozen months. Add some of these to your usual rotation of soups and stews for a filling lunch or light dinner.
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With a slightly spicy, anise-like flavor, fennel forms a fragrant base for this simple winter salad. If you have a kitchen mandolin, use it to slice the ingredients nice and thin to create a uniform mixture. The avocado will break down a bit into the vinaigrette, giving it a creamy texture, but feel free to mash it up a little to enhance the effect.
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Wheat Berry Salad With Pears and Goat Cheese
This hearty whole-grain salad makes the most of cold storage pears and long-lasting butternut squash for a refreshing dish to enjoy in the dead of winter. A tangy dressing, creamy goat cheese, peppery arugula, sweet pears, and crunchy walnuts create a delightful contrasting texture and colorful presentation.
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With their rich earthiness and slightly sweet notes, beets make a satisfying salad base, especially when paired with fresh spinach. This recipe adds a creamy yogurt sauce seasoned with cumin, garlic, mint, and cilantro for a decidedly Moroccan flavor. The sauce is also great as a dip for pita or naan, so you might want to make extra.
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Spinach, Feta, and Blood Orange Salad
If you've never enjoyed the flavor and deep red color of a blood orange, let this salad serve as your reason to start. The sweet, slightly berry-like flavor goes perfectly with iron-rich spinach, salty feta, and lemony sumac dressing in this simple dish that showcases the impressive fruit.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Beets, bacon, spinach, and walnuts give this simple salad enough flavor and heft to serve as a main dish. Consider adding a little crumbled feta, goat cheese, or your favorite shredded cheese to make it even heartier. You can boil or roast the beets, but roasting them will bring out their natural sweetness.
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Dumpling Squash and Spinach Salad
Serve this spinach, feta, and roasted chickpea salad with lemon tahini dressing inside a halved dumpling squash for a fun and unique presentation. The combination of spice, salt, and citrus create a comforting, warming taste. If you can't find dumpling squash, try it with acorn squash, delicata, or another variety you enjoy.
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Curried Sweet Potato and Freekeh Salad
Sweet potatoes pair perfectly with curry because the seasoning warms up their natural sweetness with a little tongue-tingling spice. Mixed with freekeh (a filling grain made from durum wheat), dried cranberries and apricots, peas, and crunchy sliced almonds, this tasty salad can serve as lunch all on its own.
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Vegan Barley, Wild Rice, and Cranberry Pilaf
A pilaf is a dish that starts as a grain base, with nuts, berries, and veggies added in for texture and taste. This salad begins with barley and wild rice which is then studded with dried cranberries, crumbled feta, and fresh parsley; a dressing made from lemon and orange juice contributes a bit of sweetness.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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Creamy butternut squash, peppery arugula, and quinoa all get bathed in a sweet and zesty lime, garlic, and honey vinaigrette for a winter salad that works great as a side or on its own as an interesting main dish. If you can find a pomegranate, sprinkle some seeds on top for a pretty crunch and pop of tart sweetness.
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Despite its name, this autumn salad works perfectly in the winter as well. Start with a blend of hearts of romaine and spinach, then add dried apricots and cranberries, goat cheese, and bacon; toss it all with a shallot and balsamic vinegar dressing, which pairs perfectly with the creamy goat cheese and crispy bacon.
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Fig seasons are short, so when you have some, you want to make sure they're highlighted, which this pretty salad does beautifully. This recipe calls for a yellow zucchini, but you can swap it out for butternut or other squash. Also, feel free to use any mix of slightly bitter greens to augment nutritious kale. Avocado adds a nice creaminess and ground flaxseed gives the salad a little crunch.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Both kale and cabbage pop up in winter salads because they have a sturdier texture and a hearty taste that makes them feel cozier than more tender lettuces. A zippy mustard dressing livens it up and toasted walnuts add great texture. This salad also lends itself to experimentation, so feel free to toss on dried cranberries, crumbled cheese, or other veggies.
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Cauliflower gets soft inside and a little crispy on the edges when roasted until lightly charred. Just add salty pistachios, sweet pomegranate seeds, zesty red onion, and a little fresh parsley and lemon juice for the perfect winter salad. It will add some fresh brightness to your table even during the darkest days.