8 Warm Winter Salad Recipes
There is nothing like digging into a crisp salad … in the summer. The winter months receive less attention when it comes to salad recipes, as people crave heavier, heartier dishes. But just because cool, crunchy lettuce sounds less than appealing when the ground is covered in snow and ice doesn’t mean we have to toss salads out of our recipe collections completely. By roasting and sautéing your vegetables, you can create a warm salad worthy of winter. The following eight recipes will get your tastebuds tingling.
1. Roasted winter vegetable and millet salad
You may know millet as a common ingredient in bird seed, but it as Naturally Ella’s Roasted Winter Vegetable and Millet Salad proves, it has much more potential than that. Millet, World’s Healthiest Foods explains, will add copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium to your diet, and may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Millet has also been shown to prevent gall stones and help protect against breast cancer.
- 3-4 cups of assorted Brussels sprouts, carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small red onion
- 1 cup cooked millet, cooled
- 2-3 handfuls spinach or kale
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut veggies into quarter-inch to half-inch size pieces. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil and roast for 25-35 minutes until all are tender and browning. Remove from oven. In a large bowl, combine millet, spinach, and roasted veggies. Whisk together two tablespoons olive oil, two tablespoons vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over salad and toss well.
2. Warm wilted winter greens
Reviewers of this Tyler Florence recipe, via the Food Network, loved the taste and how easy it was to make substitutions. Instead of using winter greens, many found that mixed greens worked just as well.
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 pint walnuts, for garnish
- 3 bunches assorted winter greens (Swiss chard, radicchio, escarole, etc.), washed, stemmed, and torn into pieces
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- Parmesan shavings, for garnish
- 1 shallot, chopped, for garnish
Directions: Cook honey and balsamic together over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan for about five minutes. Toast walnuts in a small skillet; set aside to cool.
Pile greens on a platter. Stir mustard into balsamic-honey dressing, then whisk in about one cup extra-virgin olive oil; pour over greens. Season greens with salt and pepper and garnish with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, shavings of Parmesan, and shallot.
3. Warm bacon-and-egg salad
Why not bring a little breakfast to your dinner plate — or even dinner to your breakfast plate–with this Food & Wine recipe? It may seem like an odd combination at first, but it is worth giving the unusual extras a chance. The bacon and eggs pack your salad with protein and offer a different take on traditional salads.
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
- 1 generous cup 1/2-inch crustless bread cubes
- 8 slices of lean bacon
- 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 large eggs
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- freshly ground pepper
Directions: In a large nonstick skillet, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, about two minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a mini processor. Add the bread cubes to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring until browned and crisp, three minutes; transfer to a plate.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate; keep warm. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the anchovies, vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the garlic and process until smooth. Season with salt.
Heat the bacon fat in the skillet. Crack the eggs into the skillet and fry over moderately high heat until over easy, 1.5 minutes on one side and 30 seconds on the other. In a large bowl, toss the the arugula and croutons with the dressing. Mound the salad on plates and sprinkle with the chives. Top with the bacon and the fried eggs, season with pepper and serve right away.
4. Spicy sautéed kale with lemon
Kale is a type of cabbage that Epicurious says has a slightly bitter taste when raw. Cooking it, as Martha Stewart does, will not dramatically alter the size, or texture of this leafy green. After purchasing, store it in an airtight container in your fridge and use within two to three days.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Thai or jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed and slices quartered
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 bunches kale (1 1/2 pounds), tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
- coarse salt
Directions: In a large skillet, heat oil and chile over medium-high heat. Add lemon and honey and cook, stirring, until lemon begins to break down, about Two minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about three minutes. Add scallions, season with salt, and cook one minute. Serve warm or at room temperature.
5. Roasted radicchio and shrimp with warm bacon vinaigrette
Radicchio is also known as red chicory, or red leaf chicory. It looks like red cabbage, but the Sun Times explains the resemblance is only visual. Try it out with Food 52’s recipe that serves 2 to 3 as a main, and 4 to 6 as a side.
- 2 small heads radicchio
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 strips of bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into lardons
- 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or to taste)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or chives
Directions: Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove any wilted or bruised outer leaves, then cut the radicchio in half lengthwise through the core. Place the halves cut side down, then cut each half into four wedges, leaving the root end intact. In a large bowl, gently toss the wedges with two tablespoons olive oil, one tablespoon balsamic vinegar, one teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper. Place the wedges cut side down in a casserole dish — you want them to fit snugly in the pan. Let the radicchio marinate at room temperature while your oven is preheating.
Toss the shrimp with one tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper; arrange on a baking sheet or casserole. (Note: Use separate pans for roasting the shrimp and radicchio because they’ll have different cooking times.)
Roast the radicchio about 15 to 18 minutes, turning once or until tender and the leaves are starting to caramelize and slightly wilt and crisp around the edges. When the radicchio is close to done, put in the shrimp. Cook the shrimp just until they’re pink and firm, three to five minutes. Remove both from the oven and place the radicchio wedges on a cutting board. Chop them into bite-size pieces and combine with shrimp in a large bowl.
To make the warm bacon vinaigrette: In a large skillet, cook the bacon in one tablespoon of olive oil over moderately high heat until it’s rendered its fat and is starting to crisp, about five minutes. Add the shallots and cook another minute, just to warm through and soften. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining Two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and cherry tomatoes.
Add the vinaigrette to the radicchio and shrimp, and toss to combine. Place salad on large serving platter. Scatter the parsley or chives over the top and serve warm or at room temperature.
6. Sautéed arugula salad
When selecting arugula to prepare Food.com’s Sautéed Arugula Salad, look for leaves that are uniform in color. You’ll want the leaves to be bright green, not yellowing. Arugula, or rocket, has a peppery taste to it. If you find that overwhelming, smaller arugula leaves will have a milder flavor.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 ounces mushrooms, quartered
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup vermouth or 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch chili pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano or parsley)
- 8 cups arugula, ripped into bite size pieces washed and spun dry
- grated cheese (optional)
Directions: In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic, stirring while cooking, about four minutes; the pan will be dry until the mushrooms release some liquid.
Deglaze the pan with vermouth. Add salt, pepper flakes, herbs, nutmeg, and arugula. Cook until wilted, about two to three minutes. Top with cheese.
7. Warm quinoa salad with roasted autumn vegetables and ginger-scallion dressing recipe
It is important to rinse your quinoa before cooking it, Bon Appétit explains, because it has a bitter coating that needs to be washed away. Equally important is draining it, because quinoa holds a considerable amount of water. Once washed, you’ll be ready to make Chow’s Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Ginger-Scallion Dressing, which serves 6 to 8 people.
- 8 ounces sweet potato (about 1 medium sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces Brussels sprouts (about 6 to 8 medium Brussels sprouts), trimmed and quartered
- 4 ounces carrot (about 1 large carrot), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces parsnip (about 1 medium parsnip), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces white or purple top turnip (about 1 small turnip), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1 1/4 cups rinsed quinoa, any color or variety
Directions: Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the middle. Place the sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, carrot, parsnip, turnip, oil, and measured salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer the vegetables to a baking sheet and arrange in an even layer; set the bowl aside.
Roast the vegetables, stirring every five minutes, until they’re tender and cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa by placing it in a medium saucepan; cover with about two to three inches of cold water, season with salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the white outer casings on the quinoa have popped, revealing translucent little beads, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dressing.
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 3- to 4-inch piece)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Directions: Place all of the ingredients except the cilantro in the reserved bowl from the veggies and whisk to combine; set aside. When the quinoa is ready, drain it through a fine-mesh strainer and add it to the bowl with the dressing. Add the roasted vegetables and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the cilantro (if using) and serve immediately or at room temperature.
8. Roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette
Daunted by the task of peeling a butternut squash, a necessary step in Ina Garten’s roasted salad recipe from the Food Network? You can follow this guide by Cooking Light on how to peel and cut a butternut squash, or you can check to see if your grocer sells pre-diced squash. The recipe yields 4 servings.
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
- 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add two tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, one teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last five minutes.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for six to eight minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, one teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.