Winter can be a dull time in the produce aisle. Your go-to fresh options might be looking a bit wilted and known to be dull and not very fresh when it comes to produce. But you can enjoy fresh and healthy salad in the wintertime. The trick is picking the right winter vegetables. Take a look a my favourite winter salads!
Its that time of year when we all might want to eat a bit better, recover from the holiday indulgences and get back to eating something fresh. But its winter and produce can be bit harder to find -- at least hard to find good stuff.
Below you will find some of my favourite winter salads. Salads that are easy to put together any time of year, but that really shine with the weather is a bit colder -- and are economical. I don't know about you but I'm not too happy about a $8 half pint of raspberries.
A few tips when making salads in the winter
- DON'T limit yourself to raw vegetables; roasted, pickled or steamed vegetables are great added to any salad.
- DON'T limit yourself to just greens. Not all salads need lettuce
- DO add lemon or citrus to your dressing to brighten everything thing up. Fresh fruit like fresh tart apples can do this too.
- DO consider richer salad additions - more robust vegetables can stand up to richer salad ingredients - think: walnuts, parmesan cheese, tangy mustard, bitter tahini, olives, capers...
Here are a few my favourite winter salad ingredients:
Cabbage is an underrated fresh vegetable. One of my favourite ways to eat cabbage is shredded and raw. Slaw is not just for summer BBQs. And in fact, I think wintery slaws have a bit more sophistication about them then we see in the summer
Savory cabbage slaw. This with a creamy, mustard, champagne vinarregette
Get the recipe here: Creamy Savoy Cabbage Slaw
Raddico and Endive
Bitter, yet delicate, raddico and endive are fresh and in season in late winter and early spring. This salad balances the slight bitterness of chicory greens with a sweet fruity vinaigrette (this one with mandarin oranges), crisp apples and crunchy walnuts. Radishes add a pop of colour and a fresh bite.
Get the recipe here: Raddico and Apple Slaw with Walnuts
Brussels Sprouts might be the iconic winter vegetable. Winter is the best time of year for fresh Brussels Sprouts. B Sprouts, or Brussy's. Yes we love them so much around here we have have pet names for them. When at peak season they are fat and crisp. Honestly, I can't help but take advantage of these green parcels any time I find them in the store.
Raw, shaved Brussels sprouts and crisp and delicious. More intense and earthy in flavour than say cabbage, they hold up well in salads tossed with richer additions - think walnuts, parmesan, and dried fruits.
A simple salad of shaved Brussels sprouts, toasted walnuts and a generous amount of parmesan cheese is one of my favourite winter treats. Whenever I serve this salad I am asked for the recipe. Because Brussels Sprouts are sturdy, this salad holds up well and can be made a bit ahead.
Or try this B Sprout salad for a more festive occasion or just a packed lunch with quinoa, dried cranberries, and walnuts in a lemony dressing.
Get the recipe here: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Quinoa and Cranberries
I would be remiss if I skipped kale on this list of wintery salads. Admittedly I can find kale almost all year round. But do know, kale is a cold-weather crop. You will find it at its freshest and cheapest in the colder months.
For me, a kale salad is best kept simple. This basic kale salad with beets and sunflower seeds, served with a lemony tahni dressing, is perfect for meal prep. Use it as a base salad = add chickpeas, baked tofu, or other proteins for a complete meal.
Get the receipe here: Make-ahead Kale Salad
Fennel has a little a bit of licorice flavour and adds a nice fresh crunch to sales. This is one my favourite winter salads. Its' fresh. Bright and garlickly. So good. Kale. Fenel and Cabbages with apple and dried cranberries for sweetness.
Get the recipe here: Apple and Kale Salad with Fennel
Root vegetables may not be the first thing you think of when you think of salad, but I encourage you do give it a try.
This salad is built on roasted beets and carrots all tossed in a creamy tahini dressing. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the vegetables.
Get the recipe here: Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad
More wintery salads you might want to try