7 Harvest Salads That Use Fall and Winter Produce
Eating clean doesn’t have to be hard when you have flavorful (and fibrous) fruits and vegetables right at your fingertips. Salads packed with kale, apples, cranberries, squash, and figs are where it’s at this season. Check out these seven harvest salads, and pack yourself some satiating and satisfying greens for lunch. These salads will fill you up without filling you out, and as long as you prepare them with the right ingredients, every bite will be exciting.
1. Roasted Vegetable Salad
Our first recipe from Martha Stewart hits all the produce bases. This salad is packed full of figs, carrots, pears, and squash. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing that ties the tastes together. Preheat your oven, and give this salad a try. It’s full of fiber and will give you the natural energy you need to power you through your day.
- 1 pound carrots, cut into 3-inch-long, ½-inch-thick wedges
- 1 small delicata squash, halved, seeds removed, and cut into ¾-inch slices
- 8 figs, halved
- 1 pear, halved and cut into ½-inch wedges
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled
- ½ bunch fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
Directions: Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the upper and lower third racks.
In a large bowl, combine carrots, squash, figs, pear, garlic, and thyme. Add olive oil, and season with coarse salt and pepper; toss to combine.
Remove hot baking sheets from oven, and divide vegetable and fruit mixture evenly between them, spreading in an even layer. Return baking sheets to oven, and roast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 35 minutes. Rotate pans and switch positions halfway through.
Remove baking sheets from oven, and drizzle with vinegar; shake to combine. Transfer to a serving platter; drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with thyme leaves. Season with sea salt, and serve.
2. Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
This recipe from Bon Appétit keeps things light and simple. Aside from the greens, slivered almonds and Pecorino cheese stud this salad, and it’s massaged with a homemade dressing of lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and shallot.
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale, center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ⅓ cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino
Directions: Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside for a few minutes. In a large bowl, mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
3. Apple, Pecan, and Feta Salad
Apples go perfectly on salads, sandwiches, and on their own, and they especially shine in this Apple, Pecan, and Feta Salad from Jessica in the Kitchen. The sweetness of apples and cranberries pairs perfectly with the saltiness of feta, and the added crunch from pecans doesn’t hurt either. This salad couldn’t be easier or more simple, but it proves once again that simplicity is usually your best bet.
- 3 cups kale, stemmed and torn
- 1 apple, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pecans
- 3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions: Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add kale, apples, cranberries, pecans, and get to a large bowl. Drizzle in dressing and toss to coat. Serve.
4. Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette
Speaking of squash, this next salad from How Sweet It Is stars the popular produce. It’s a green salad loaded with avocado, acorn squash, pecans, pomegranate arils, and cucumber. Pair that with a sweet and tangy ginger vinaigrette, and you have yourself a killer side dish or main meal. This arugula salad is as fun to look at as it is to eat, and thanks to the fibrous ingredients that top the greenery, it’s a nourishing and satisfying meal with or without any accompaniments.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 acorn squash, sliced in ½-inch thick rounds and seeds removed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
- ½ cup whole pecans, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 pomegranate, arils removed
- 1 seedless cucumber, sliced
Pomegranate ginger vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup pomegranate juice
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil
Directions: Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add coconut oil. Add squash, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. If the squash is having trouble caramelizing, add the brown sugar. In a small, dry skillet set over medium heat, toast pecans until fragrant, shaking often. Remove from heat and toss immediately with pumpkin pie spice, then remove to a plate to cool.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine pomegranate juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. While whisking, stream in oil and continue to mix until well combined.
Add arugula to a large bowl along with avocado, pomegranate arils, cucumber, pecans, and squash pieces. Season with salt and pepper, then add dressing. Toss to combine, then serve.
5. Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Dried Cranberries
For a salad that goes light on the greens and heavy on the grains, try this Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Cranberries from Two Peas and Their Pod. Black quinoa is combined with kale, sweet potatoes, and cranberries, and a balsamic vinegar-based dressing ties everything together. This recipe serves 6 and takes just 30 minutes to make.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ½ medium red onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups kale
- 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1 cup uncooked black quinoa
- 2 cups water
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss sweet potatoes and onions with oil, salt, and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Drizzle kale with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet. When the sweet potatoes and onions have been in the oven for 15 minutes, add baking sheet with kale. Bake for 15 minutes, or until kale is wilted and starting to crisp.
Meanwhile, rinse black quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes, reduce to low heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand.
When the vegetables are done roasting, let them cool to room temperature. Chop up the red onion slices and kale. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, sweet potatoes, red onion, and kale. Drizzle the salad with remaining three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and add in the dried cranberries. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
6. Harvest Cobb Salad
Bacon knows no season, so it makes a star appearance in this Harvest Cobb Salad from Damn Delicious. Cobb salads are always a popular choice, but when you throw bacon and produce into the mix, they’re especially irresistible. We’re talking apples, pears, cranberries, and a crumbled goat cheese. Pecans and eggs are also enlisted in the salad to pump up its protein, and a creamy poppyseed dressing finishes things off.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 large eggs
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 apple, diced
- 1 pear, diced
- ½ cup pecan halves
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Directions: Whisk mayonnaise, milk, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and poppy seeds in a small bowl to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
Cook bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat until brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Place eggs in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel eggs, then dice.
Arrange lettuce on a large serving platter. Top with rows of bacon, eggs, apple, pear, pecans, cranberries, and goat cheese. Serve, passing dressing separately.
7. Autumn Panzanella Salad
Our last highlighted recipe from Fine Cooking proves that Panzanella doesn’t have to be reserved for the summer. The hearty salad satisfies in the cooler temperatures, too, and it’s safe to say this Autumn Panzanella Salad is loaded with goodness. Aside from the show-stopping croutons Panzanella is known for, the salad is also made up of squash, beets, apples, pumpkin seeds, and greens. It’s satiating enough to work as a main dish but can also serve as a side. While it technically serves 4, this salad is one healthy dish you’ll want to save all for yourself.
- 6 slices rustic seeded bread, cubed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 red baby beets, peeled and quartered
- 5 golden baby beets, peeled and quartered
- 2 pinches fine sea salt
- ½ medium kabocha, red kuri, or butternut squash, peeled, sliced, and seeds removed
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 medium Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 cup beet greens or any other leafy green
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Directions: To make the salad: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the cubed bread and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until dry.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of salt on a deep baking pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes or until fork-tender.
Toss the sliced squash with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and the red pepper flakes. Bake on the lower rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until fork-tender. In a large bowl, toss together the croutons, roasted beets, roasted squash, sliced apple, beet greens, pumpkin seeds, sage, thyme, and oregano.
To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, pumpkin oil, olive oil, and salt. Pour the vinaigrette over the warm salad, toss, let sit for 10 minutes so the bread absorbs the juices, and serve.