I very happily eat salad all year long, but the preparation and ingredients do change a bit from spring to summer to fall to now, winter. Today, I’ve compiled my favourite wintery salads, which would look great on a holiday table for that requisite refreshing pause amidst the heavier fare. Saying that, there are so many everyday meals in between holiday feasts, so I’ll likely be eating these around the celebrations, keeping my body and mind healthy as I power through to the new year. After all, one must balance out all of those chewy ginger cookies!
As a fan of meal prep, most of the salads you’ll see here can be made in advance for quick lunches and dinner side dishes. These are fun, fresh, exciting, and healthy–all salad must-haves for me!
Be well this season, and eat your veggies. Here are some seasonal salads from the blog to make that objective, a delicious one.
Shredded Kale Salad with Kombucha Vinaigrette
Winter kale is sweeter and more tender than summer kale, especially after a bit of frost–perfect for raw use in a salad. This kale salad is dressed with probiotic-rich, zippy kombucha vinaigrette, a popular fermented tonic that can be found at most major grocery stores (even Costco carries it). There’s plenty of character in this charmer as a side dish, but you can make it a meal by adding a cupful of cooked quinoa and chickpeas, or top it off with a cooked protein of your choice.
Winter Chopped Salad with Pear, Feta, & Arugula
All of the treasures of winter seasonal produce in one exciting salad. If you’re planning a holiday lunch with friends and family, serve this alongside some toasted sourdough bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.
Black Rice, Beet, & Kale Salad with Cider Flax Dressing
This is still my sister’s favourite salad recipe, which I first made in 2014. Kale, beets, and black rice pair beautifully together, and a nourishing flaxseed oil vinaigrette brings a nutty element that I can’t get enough of. If you think you don’t like kale salad, this recipe will change your mind.
Citrus & Watermelon Salad with Fresh Bay Laurel
Yes, yes, I know watermelon is a summer fruit (or is it a vegetable?), but paired with the best winter citrus fruit you can find, here, grapefruit, orange, and lime, along with fragrant bay leaves, it transforms into a winter-worthy treat. And, there’s loads of vitamin C in this salad, which I’m always looking to get more of this time of year to keep my immune system in top form. I imagine this paired with a lightly poached or steamed salmon or halibut for a welcome break from heavy holiday meals.
Roasted Squash, Onion, & Fig Salad with Maple Mustard Balsamic Dressing
Roasted squash, fried figs, goat cheese, walnuts, and lettuce are tossed with a transformative maple mustard balsamic dressing. I can’t think of a lovelier light winter lunch.
Roasted Broccoli Salad with Pine Nuts, Raisins, & Feta
Roasting broccoli dissolves its harshness, turning it into a sweet-meets-umami salad base. Here, creamy feta (can you tell I love cheese in my salads?), chewy raisins, and buttery pine nuts (I use roasted sunflower seeds for a more economical option most of the time, and they work magically!) are lightly dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Ideal for potlucks, family gatherings, or cozy winter dinners. Unlike most broccoli salad recipes, this version is mayo-free.
If you’re looking for a hot holiday side dish, I’m in love with this Roasted Squash and Onion with Lemony Whipped Feta recipe.