Salads aren’t just for summer time. When freshly picked greens aren’t available, prepare a hearty winter salad instead. You still get the benefits of eating your vegetables plus a good dose of fibre, and it’s a great way to add variety to meal planning.
Some winter salad tips:
- Winter salads contain items such as marinated roasted vegetables, crunchy additions like nuts and dried fruit, as well as strong cheese like blue or cheddar. With such robust flavours, you don’t need a fancy salad dressing – olive oil and vinegar works perfectly.
- They’re a great way to use up extra cooked vegetables, like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, etc. Just marinate in some balsamic vinegar until ready to use.
- Serve warm (e.g. a warm potato salad or a traditional Caesar topped with strips of cooked chicken), or at room temperature (never chilled right out of the refrigerator).
- A large dinner salad goes well with a cup of soup, toasted garlic bread or fresh whole-wheat pita cut in strips.
Now put your salad together. Here are some winning combinations:
- Baby spinach with chopped dried figs, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted pecans. Toss with a sherry vinegar and quality olive oil.
- Shredded veggies: Shredded beets (fresh partially cooked or from a can), shredded uncooked carrots and apples mixed together in a lime and olive oil dressing. Add some fresh coriander or parsley, usually available all year. Make sure to mix ahead and sit at least an hour before eating.
- Cooked wheat berries, barley or quinoa make a great addition to salad. Prepare with chicken or vegetable stock instead of water and serve on the side instead of mixed in. Add chopped carrots, celery and broccoli, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese and dried cranberries. Dressing: raspberry vinaigrette
- Greens and roots: On a baking disk, roast cubed butternut squash in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until tender. Cool. Toss in a bowl with arugula, proscuitto ham, and ½ tsp. of finely chopped shallots. Make a dressing of olive oil and vinegar. Add roasted chopped hazelnuts if desired.