29 Winter Salad Recipes to See You Through the SeasonPosted: February 3, 2022 Filed under: Recipes Leave a comment
Emily and Matt Clifton
In spring and summer, salads are an obvious meal—farmers markets overflow with fresh produce, and salads are a seasonally appropriate way to showcase the lettuces, tomatoes, and other vegetables that are in abundance. When the seasons change, the offerings at the local market change, too, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget about salads for the year.
Hearty cool-weather vegetables like kale and cabbage, fruits like apples and citrus, and grains like spelt and wheat berries all let you make satisfying salads all through the fall and winter. We’ve rounded up 29 of our favorites, from a cabbage salad with roasted onions and a beet and citrus salad with a pine nut vinaigrette to a Caesar that trades romaine lettuce out for kale.
Warm Kale and Caramelized Mushroom Salad
This salad is made with baby kale, goat cheese, and sherry vinegar dressing, but it’s really all about the mushrooms. The key is to cook them until they have a golden crust, just as if you were cooking a steak. We add the mushrooms to the salad straight from the pan, so that their heat wilts the kale slightly.
Red Cabbage Salad With Roasted Cipollini Onions
Making a great salad is all about paying attention to contrasting textures and flavors, and in this case, that means soft and sweet cipollini onion, crispy red cabbage, bitter chicory, crunchy walnuts, and creamy aged goat cheese. For even more flavor, go with a slightly funky aged goat cheese like Humboldt Fog.
Get the recipe for Red Cabbage Salad With Roasted Cipollini Onions
Beet and Wheat Berry Salad With Pickled Apples and Pecans
This hearty make-ahead salad pairs chewy wheat berries with sweet roasted beets and sautéed beet greens. We also mix in toasted pecans and pickled apples—pickling the apples both keeps them from turning brown and gives the salad enough acidity to balance out the earthy beets.
Get the recipe for Beet and Wheat Berry Salad With Pickled Apples and Pecans
Toasted-Bulgur Salad With Smoked Trout, Radishes, and Green Apple
Green apples have plenty of tartness without the help of vinegar, so we add them as-is to this bulgur, smoked trout, and radish salad. The stand-out ingredient is candied lemon segments—cooking them in simple syrup softens their edge. Toasting the bulgur before steeping brings out its nuttiness, adding an extra layer of complexity to the dish.
Get the recipe for Toasted-Bulgur Salad With Smoked Trout, Radishes, and Green Apple
Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette
Sweet, earthy beets are one of our favorite ingredients for cold-weather salads, and they’re even better when paired with tangy citrus. There are a million ways to combine the two—to get started, try this salad made with grapefruit, orange, ricotta, and pistachios. We use juice from the fruit in the vinaigrette to give the salad extra citrus flavor.
Get the recipe for Roasted-Beet and Citrus Salad With Ricotta and Pistachio Vinaigrette
Beet and Citrus Salad With Pine Nut Vinaigrette
We use the same basic technique here, matching roasted beets with orange and grapefruit suprèmes and a pine nut vinaigrette. In our experience the best way to roast beets is in airtight foil pouches—that way they steam as they cook, tenderizing faster and losing less moisture.
Get the recipe for Beet and Citrus Salad With Pine Nut Vinaigrette
Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Walnut Salad With Dashi “Vinaigrette”
The unconventional dressing for this salad isn’t actually a vinaigrette at all—we ditch the typical vinegar for Japanese shoyu-dashi. A mixture of soy sauce and dashi, shoyu-dashi gives the dressing a deep, savory note rather than a bright, acidic one. The “vinaigrette” is delicious on all kinds of salads, like this one made with sweet potatoes, arugula, and walnuts.
Get the recipe for Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Walnut Salad With Dashi “Vinaigrette”
Kale Caesar Salad
Kale is significantly tougher than your average salad green, so if you’re going to serve it raw you will need to put in a little work. Massaging the leaves with olive oil is a great way to soften them to a more pleasant texture. From there you can use the kale in whatever salad you like—I love it with a classic Caesar dressing.
Kale Salad With Oven-Dried Grapes, Toasted Walnuts, and Blue Cheese
You’ve probably come across raisins mixed into salads—this is basically the same idea, but grapes that you oven-dry at home have way better flavor and texture. Here we use them to perk up an otherwise simple salad made with massaged kale, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese.
Get the recipe for Kale Salad With Oven-Dried Grapes, Toasted Walnuts, and Blue Cheese
Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad With Sumac Onions
Too lazy to massage your kale? Lucky for you, there’s a more hands-off way as long as you have a little time. All you have to do is toss the leaves in oil and let them marinate for an hour—it doesn’t get much easier than that. While the kale sits you can make the sumac-seasoned onions and vinaigrette for this simple salad.
Get the recipe for Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad With Sumac Onions
Tofu and Kale Salad With Avocado, Grapefruit, and Miso-Tahini Dressing
Baby kale, on the other hand, doesn’t need any tenderizing—it’s all set to be mixed into a salad with grapefruit, avocado, and tofu. We cook the tofu slowly in a pan to give it a crackly crust and season it with plenty of za’atar. To give the vegan salad some creaminess, we dress it with a mixture of miso and tahini.
Get the recipe for Tofu and Kale Salad With Avocado, Grapefruit, and Miso-Tahini Dressing
Roasted Potato and Shallot Salad With Marinated Mushrooms and Kale
Don’t be scared off by the ingredient list—this salad is less daunting than it might look. Besides, it’ll be worth the effort when you taste the mixture of crispy roast potatoes, sweet caramelized shallots, and meaty sautéed shiitake mushrooms. The potatoes take a while to cook—they need to be parboiled before roasting—but that gives you time to work on the other elements of the dish.
Get the recipe for Roasted Potato and Shallot Salad With Marinated Mushrooms and Kale
Winter Greens Salad With Fennel, Citrus, and Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette
As the temperature falls, the quality of citrus you’ll find at the store gets better and better. To do justice to peak-season pomelos, tangerines, and mandarins we cut them into suprèmes, mix with endive, radicchio, escarole, and fennel, and dress with a creamy citrus vinaigrette.
Get the recipe for Winter Greens Salad With Fennel, Citrus, and Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette
Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes
This showstopper of a salad is a great option for holiday parties because most of the prep can be done ahead of time—the hearty brassicas, radishes, potatoes, and cold-weather greens will hold up well in the refrigerator even after being dressed. Feel free to use whatever brassicas look best at the market.
Get the recipe for Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes
Warm Brussels Sprout Salad With Bacon and Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Forget about a steaming bowl of soup—I want a warm salad on a cool day. Brussels sprouts are a natural choice because they take on such a satisfyingly sweet, nutty flavor when cooked. For the ultimate in comfort, try cooking the leaves in bacon fat and serving with crumbled bacon and a hazelnut vinaigrette made with more bacon fat.
Get the recipe for Warm Brussels Sprout Salad With Bacon and Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Roasted-Carrot Salad With Peanut-Sesame Mole
Sweet roasted carrots are practically made to be seasoned with warm spices like this blend of ancho chili powder, cumin, and paprika. We incorporate the spices into this salad in two ways, tossing the carrots with some before roasting and using the rest to make a simplified mole-style sauce.
Get the recipe for Roasted-Carrot Salad With Peanut-Sesame Mole
Carrot Salad With Yogurt, Ghee, and Barberry Dressing
Carrots get served two ways in this colorful salad—pickled and shaved—and are paired with a bold dressing of warm spices bloomed in ghee mixed with yogurt and vinegar. To finish, the salad gets garnished with tart barberries and fresh dill.
Get the recipe for Carrot Salad With Yogurt, Ghee, and Barberry Dressing
Carrot and Rye Berry Salad With Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds
Filling, nutritious whole grains are a staple of our favorite fall and winter salads—chewy rye berries are especially good for this recipe with carrots, cilantro, celery, and Marcona almonds. Cook the carrots whole and cut them afterward; they’ll cook more evenly than if you sliced them first.
Get the recipe for Carrot and Rye Berry Salad With Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds
Whole-Grain Spelt Salad With Leeks and Marinated Mushrooms
Nutty spelt is another of our favorite whole grains, and in this salad, we pair it with diced leeks and cremini mushrooms. The creminis are marinated in tart cider vinegar—the acidity complements the earthy grain wonderfully. Grain salads need something fresh in them, so we also mix in sliced cucumber.
Get the recipe for Whole-Grain Spelt Salad With Leeks and Marinated Mushrooms
Warm Whole-Grain Salad With Fennel, Arugula, Prosciutto, and Pecorino
You can pick whatever kind of whole grain you like—I like mild-tasting farro—to use in this salad made with roasted fennel. Salty, savory prosciutto and Pecorino are the perfect match for the sweet fennel and hearty grain.
Get the recipe for Warm Whole-Grain Salad With Fennel, Arugula, Prosciutto, and Pecorino
Chickpea Salad With Bacon, Cotija, and Roasted Chilies
Just because it’s cold outside that doesn’t mean you have to stick with dark flavors. This bright salad, as tasty in January as it is in June, is packed with smoky bacon, broiled Poblano peppers, briny cotija, and earthy chickpeas. I tend to cheat and use canned chickpeas, but starting with dried leads to better flavor and texture.
Get the recipe for Chickpea Salad With Bacon, Cotija, and Roasted Chilies
Miso-Charred Mushrooms and Black Rice Salad
While it’s known as a health food, we like black rice for its nutty flavor and substantial texture as much as for its nutritional value. Here we make it into a salad with edamame, cabbage, scallions, and cilantro, then serve it with miso-glazed portobello mushrooms to make a more filling meal.
Get the recipe for Miso-Charred Mushrooms and Black Rice Salad
Sautéed mushrooms, celery root, and toasted pine nuts help play up wild rice’s innate earthiness, making for a super-savory side salad. And while it’s perfect for the holiday table, it’s also great just as a side for dinner on a weeknight. If you’re looking for something a little less earthy, with a touch more sweetness, give this version, with dried cranberries and pickled apples, a try.
Get the recipe for Wild Rice Salad With Mushrooms, Celery Root, and Pine Nuts
Celery is often overlooked, but it stars in this tiger salad. Batons of crisp celery are tossed with stems of cilantro, thin slivers of scallion, a few slices of hot chili pepper, and a sweet-tart soy sauce and rice vinegar dressing. The salad is topped off with a generous sprinkling of salty dried shrimp.
Get the recipe for Tiger Salad (Lao Hu Cai) Recipe, à la Xi’an Famous Foods
Radicchio, Endive, and Anchovy Salad
This hearty salad eats like a full meal. A base of slightly bitter radicchio and Belgian endives is offset by a rich anchovy vinaigrette, while shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano adds a salty kick, and bread crumbs bring richness to each bite.
Trevisano Radicchio Salad With Satsumas, Pistachios, and Calabrian Chili Vinaigrette
Instead of searching the grocery store for wilted, past-prime summer produce, this salad will have you embracing winter. The bitterness of Trevisiano radicchio is balanced out by sweet satsuma mandarins, ricotta Salata, and a mountain of fresh herbs.