Fun and tasty ways to make your winter salads more interesting.
As we know, the winter season is all about a bowl of good soup but a bowl of greens is just as important. In-season vegetables like Brussels sprouts, beets, root vegetables, and squash are the star this season, and while most winter salads are hearty, it couldn’t hurt to give it a boost here and there. This may come from simple yet fun salad dressings, pickled food, fried greens, or even as simple as toasted nuts. Below is a list of recipe recommendations you can use to make your winter salad more fun and tasty.
Make Your Own Dressing
As much as I can appreciate a good store-bought dressing, it still does not compare to making it your own. Not only is it customizable to your liking, but it can also be cheaper than the ones you find in the supermarket. For a winter salad, a simple lemon and olive oil vinaigrette will not cut it. It’s too tart and too refreshing for a hearty winter dish. What you should try instead is something with a creamier consistency like this Creamy Maple Dressing by The Modern Proper. This rich dressing is suitable for brussels sprouts or spinach and squash salad. This Lemon Anchovy Dressing from Family Style Food is a clever alternative to your basic caesar salad dressing. It will pair well with a fennel and citrus salad– or just straight up use it for your next round of caesar salad.
‘Tis The Season to Pickle Everything
There’s a reason why historically, pickled vegetables were a common necessity in every household. Pickling food is a good food preservation method and the process also alters flavour and texture making it so SO delicious! If you think cucumbers are the only vegetable you can pickle, then may I suggest that you broaden your mind and accept the fact that you can pickle just about anything. Seriously! From radishes to red onions, to turnips, cabbages, and quail eggs–you can do anything! This basic quick pickle recipe from Epicurious is a good starting point. You can customize the flavouring however you want. You can incorporate different kinds of spices, seeds, and even experiment with different types of vinegar. The world is your oyster! Pickle your heart out!
Don’t know what to do with your newly pickled vegetables? Try these salad recipes:
- Winter Salad with Pickled Radish and Onions from Hearth and Vine
- Detox Winter Salad with Pickled Beets from Hy-Vee
- Root Vegetable and Quinoa Salad with Pickled Sunchokes from Saveur
Fry it. Toast it. Make it crunchy.
A good salad consists of well-balanced flavours and textures. Naturally, textures can come from crisp vegetables, toasted nuts, and creamy crumbled cheese. To make your winter salad more interesting, you can try incorporating candied nuts instead. Candied walnuts or peanut brittle will not only add crunch to your salad but it will also balance out the tart and earthy flavours from winter vegetables. For inspiration, try this roasted beet and candied walnut salad recipe from The Endless Meal, or this apple and cranberries salad from Recipetineats.
Another way of adding texture to your salad is by frying your kale. Yes, you read that right. Technically, this is more of a snack rather than a salad but hey, it’s healthy! So who’s really complaining here? This crispy kale salad recipe from How Sweet Eats is a good one to try. Enjoy snacking!
Published by HOLR Magazine.