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The Best Winter Salad Recipes

Some root veggies, grains and greens are all you need
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As the bitter cold months of January and February roll in, your shopping list is likely full of ingredients for soups and stews. But just because it’s chilly doesn’t mean you should relegate a good salad to the spring and summer seasons. Winter provides a bounty of delicious ingredients, like root vegetables, citrus, pomegranates and cranberries. Add in some kale and warm grains and you’ve got a winter salad with a beautiful color palette that will make you forget about the blustery winds and falling snow. 

Cauliflower Radicchio Salad

Cauliflower Radicchio Salad
E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune; Mark Graham / food styling

A great way to adjust salads for winter is to serve them with a warm base, like quinoa or rice. This recipe plays with the balance of sweet and savory, warm and cool. Green onions, radicchio, grapes, dates, raisins and cilantro are splayed over a bed of cooked cauliflower and quinoa. The comforting salad is tied together with a homemade roasted onion vinaigrette dressing.

For the Cauliflower Radicchio Salad recipe, click here.

Roasted Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ Salad

Roasted Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ Salad
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

In this recipe, cauliflower is roasted then pulsed until it is the texture of couscous, then tossed with chickpeas, bell peppers, pickled apricots and olives. The chickpeas serve as a rich source of protein and carrot tops make a bright salsa verde that livens up the veggie-packed salad. 

For the Roasted Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ Salad recipe, click here.

Thyme Caesar Salad

Thyme Caesar Salad
Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

You probably know Caesar salad as a nice complement to soups and sandwiches, but this recipe turns it into a breakout star. A blend of deep red radicchio and crispy artisan bread is tossed with Caesar dressing that’s mixed with lemongrass and thyme. The herbaceous dressing and use of radicchio add a welcome spin to the classic dish.

For the Thyme Caesar Salad recipe, click here.

Watercress and Hearts of Palm Salad with Tahini Dressing

Watercress and Hearts of Palm Salad with Tahini Dressing
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

Watercress is a delicate green, which makes it ideal for serving as an appetizer or side dish to a hearty cut of steak or other filling meal. Brighten the dish up with tahini dressing, bell pepper and pomegranate seeds. 

For the Watercress and Hearts of Palm Salad With Tahini Dressing recipe, click here.

Hard Apple Cider-Glazed Chicken Kale Salad

Hard Apple Cider-Glazed Chicken Kale Salad
Courtesy of Perdue

The secret to a good kale salad is to massage the leaves with oil and salt before tossing it with the rest of your favorite fixings. Not only is this kale salad packed with sweet and savory flavors like apple cider glazed chicken and green apples, but it also has plenty of gut-healthy foods.

For the Hard Apple Cider-Glazed Chicken Kale Salad recipe, click here.

Arugula, Orange and Pomegranate Salad

Arugula, Orange and Pomegranate Salad
Courtesy of Karen Kelly/Seasonal Cravings

It doesn’t get more seasonal than this arugula salad. The harmonious combination of orange slices, pomegranate arils, pumpkin seeds and crumbled feta is seamlessly tied together with a red wine vinegar and honey dressing. 

For the Arugula, Orange and Pomegranate Salad recipe, click here.

Roasted Harvest Salad

Roasted Harvest Salad
Courtesy of Danielle Walker, Celebrations.

You may not think of roasting fruits before adding them to a salad, but it amplifies the flavor and gives the dish a new layer of warmth and comfort. For this recipe, start by tossing figs, grapes, apple and hazelnuts with oil and balsamic before roasting and adding to a mix of radicchio, romaine and arugula. 

For the Roasted Harvest Salad recipe, click here.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Pear and Pomegranate

Brussels Sprout Salad with Pear and Pomegranate
Courtesy of Karen Kelly/Seasonal Cravings

Sure, Brussels sprouts are great as a stand-alone winter veggie, especially when roasted, but they also make a great salad base. Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts to give a salad-like texture, then toss the raw vegetable with diced pears, pomegranate seeds and dressing.

For the Brussels Sprout Salad with Pear and Pomegranate recipe, click here.

Kale and Apple Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

Kale and Apple Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing
Courtesy of Karen Kelly/Seasonal Cravings

The key to making a great salad is to toss it with a dressing that complements its ingredients. To complement the flavor of the pistachios and apple slices in this kale salad, use maple syrup in your dressing. The sweet flavor boost will give the tangy salad extra dimension that pairs effortlessly with some of our easiest four-ingredient entrees, like zucchini soup and slow cooker beef brisket

For the Kale and Apple Salad With Maple Mustard Dressing recipe, click here.

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