Nutrition Articles

5 Savory Salad Ideas for Fall and Winter

Salads Aren't Just for Summer!

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During the hot summer months, we automatically add salads to our menu plans. A big bowl of crisp lettuce, cool cucumbers and sun-ripened tomatoes tossed lightly with an oil-and-vinegar dressing is always refreshing during the warmest time of the year. When salad-variety produce is at its peak, it’s easy to get creative with fresh veggie side dishes that go beyond the simple tossed green salad. The best salads are simple, with just a few ingredients, like sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and slivered basil, or cucumbers, red onion and dill.

As fall gives way to winter, many of us lose access to quality warm-weather produce. Sure, we can still find red, "vine-ripened" tomatoes at the grocery in January, but they’re likely to be firm and flavorless compared to those just-picked beauties we can get in August. The best summer salads simply don't translate to winter.

But just because the calendar says February, that doesn’t mean we have to abandon interesting salad options. It’s easy to default to bagged mixed greens and bottled Italian dressing as a dinner accompaniment. But if you’re looking to jump-start your salad repertoire with seasonal ingredients, consider using grains, cool-weather crops like greens and winter squash, plus healthy add-ins like walnuts or goat cheese.
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About The Author

Bryn Mooth Bryn Mooth
Bryn Mooth is an independent copywriter and journalist focused on food, wellness and design; she's also a Master Gardener and enthusiastic green thumb. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog

Member Comments

    Actually, by winter time, I'm sick and tired of those salads and hopeful to have some vegetables with nice butter, garlic and cheese on them, for a good taste. Not everyone likes salads day in and day out, no matter how fresh the stuff is. - 11/19/2014 3:13:53 PM
  • My sister fixed a delicious salad one Christmas. It was baby spinach, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, and pecans, topped with a vinaigrette dressing. It was a great start to Christmas dinner. - 11/19/2014 10:17:16 AM
    Some of my favorite salads right now are a persimmon, goat cheese, pecan salad with a cranberry vinaigrette. And a beet, burrata salad with a honey-sherry vinaigrette. - 11/8/2014 11:38:12 PM
    I appreciate this article so much. In the summer, we belong to a CSA and eat tons of salad, then as the weather turns colder, I just don't feel like eating those salads anymore. This article tells me how to adapt salads for the colder weather, and I will definitely try some of these suggestions. Thank You. - 9/11/2014 7:33:10 AM
  • Love salad just get bored with same old same Thanks for this article : )
    - 2/21/2014 4:16:56 PM
  • It's like you were reading my mind a day late! I was searching for winter salads yesterday while planning my menu for the week. I ended up finding a roasted beet salad that I'm looking forward to trying in a couple of days.

    I'll be adding this to my favorites so I can try one or two of your suggestions for next week's menu! Thanks :) - 2/10/2014 8:54:05 AM
    Great topic! Needs more pictures, more recipes. I love the salad ideas in the two comments below mine. - 1/6/2014 9:43:44 AM
  • One of my favorite winter salads uses beet greens. It's made with roasted beets (save the greens for the salad, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, shredded purple cabbage, feta, and cranberry balsamic dressing. Adding some romaine in with the beet greens is also delicious. - 1/5/2014 11:19:29 AM
  • One of my winter salad favorites is spinach or romaine & fresh orange slices, topped with a little low fat sesame ginger salad dressing. This salad is so refreshing in the winter! Sometimes I add a few slivered almonds or diced celery for crunchiness. - 12/17/2013 2:18:55 PM
  • I love salad. Just a plain old salad. Sometimes with turkey and ham. Thanks for the article. - 9/20/2013 3:35:44 PM
  • I would like to know if anyone has a recipe for broccoli salad. Please let me know and a good salad is a three bean salad. - 9/2/2013 2:39:46 AM
  • Pasta salad sounds good for dinner next week! This week will be arugula with cranberries and a low fat creamy horseradish dressing, topped with warm sauteed mushrooms. Very wintery!! - 12/12/2012 8:08:11 AM
  • I am inspired to make more pasta salads. My summer staple (esp. for gatherings) is rainbow rotini, chicken breast, olives, tomatoes and italian and/or ranch. (Well, might need to rethink that to make sure it's lowfat). I'm also starting to use more ancient grains like quinoa. Thanks for the tips. - 12/12/2012 3:53:39 AM
  • These were great ideas but all but most of the salads gave calories for the entire recipe. You had to do a makeover to get an idea of nutrition in a single serving... - 10/9/2012 12:08:21 AM
    A salad is a wallet-friendly meal, because you can use up the tiniest amounts of meat and fish - yet it miraculously flavours your pasta - or rice salad and gives it a nice texture.
    Also delicious vor vegetarians : fried tofu cubes mixed with bulgur , tomatoes and mint leaves, in a raspberry vinegar dressing. - 9/15/2012 9:03:55 AM

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