In the colder months, salads are often pushed aside in favor of steaming soup. However, with a few modifications, salad can be expanded as a deliciously rich and savory meal for the winter, with bright fresh flavor combinations to celebrate the season!
With the bitter cold of winter weather, choosing food with warming qualities as well as moisture and richness is ideal and sweet, sour, and salty tastes can combat dry and cold conditions. Winter salads can therefore draw inspiration from warming spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger to replace fresh summer herbs. Sweet fruits like pomegranate, citrus, and apples can replace summer berries and add brightness and freshness. Embrace winter greens like cabbage, kale, escarole, frisee, radicchio, and endive to create a festive look and provide rich flavor. Mix-in seasonal favorites like roasted root vegetables and nuts, and choose heartier meats like bacon, leftover roasts, ham, and shrimp. A warm Brie or goat cheese can add a lovely finish to a cold winter salad, tailoring it to the season and creating a satisfying texture.
Eat seasonally and enjoy salads year-round!
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Mint and Pistachios
Source: Bon Appetit
½ cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios
1 small acorn squash halved, seeded, sliced crosswise ½ inch thick
3 carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium parsnips sliced into ¾ inch thick pieces
1 medium golden beet, halved and slices into ½ inch pieces
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sumac (optional)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely torn
Sumac is a tart, citrusy Middle Eastern spice, sold in ground form
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out pistachios on a small rimmed baking sheet, toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
Increase oven temp to 425 degrees. Toss vegetables with 2 Tbsp oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Mix vinegar, sumac, and remaining 3 Tbsp oil in a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and toss to coat; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar as needed to taste.
Serve medley of vegetables topped with pistachios and mint.