THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON MOTHER EARTH LIVING.
Get cooking inspiration with these ideas for salads that make the most of seasonal greens, dried fruits and healthy whole grains.
We typically think of summer as salad season and winter as the time for hearty fare. But there’s no reason to turn our backs on fresh produce with so many great winter vegetables waiting to be used. Of course, we can still enjoy satisfying soups, stews and gratins. Mix in these winter salad preparations, too, and you’ll appreciate their crisper, lighter and brighter flavors and textures.
4 Steps to a Hearty Winter Salad
1. Choose your greens: Choose winter-friendly greens such as cabbage, kale, arugula and spinach — all of which grow in cool temperatures and are more substantial than spring’s ultra-light microgreens.
2. Accompany it well: When fresh produce is less abundant, garnish salads with preserved foods such as dried fruits, oil-preserved vegetables (for example, olives or roasted red peppers), nuts, seeds and cheeses.
3. Add some bulk: For dinner, we want salads with some heft. Consider cooked and cooled grains such as rice or quinoa; protein sources such as oven-roasted tofu, chicken or salmon, hard-boiled eggs and toasted nuts; and filling roasted vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower or beets.
4. Dress it up: Make a simple dressing of oil and vinegar or citrus, and include minced garlic, Dijon mustard or dried herbs, especially if you have homegrown herbs preserved from the summer. For a touch of sweetness, add a dash of honey or pure maple syrup.