Crunchy, Cool-Weather Fare

Crunchy, Cool-Weather Fare

Salads that lighten up the dark winter months

By Roxanne Webber

A post on the Digest about winter salads prompted us to think about our own list of favorites. It’s proof you can make a good salad year-round—as long as you avoid the anemic summer produce that is still finding its way to the grocery store shelves.

1. Salade Lyonnaisey. Our version of the classic French salad tops frisée with crispy pancetta and an oozy poached egg.

2. Watercress Salad with Manchego, Membrillo, and Almonds. Peppery watercress is paired with cubes of quince paste, almonds, shaved Manchego cheese, and an easy vinaigrette.

3. Classic Wedge Salad. A chunk of iceberg lettuce topped with tangy Blue Cheese Dressing is a quick favorite; dress it up with a sprinkle of chopped bacon or scallions.

4. Butter Lettuce and Avocado Salad. Top butter lettuce with crumbled tortilla chips, avocado, Cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro. Dress with a squeeze of lime, oil (avocado oil is nice here, but use what you have), and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Fennel, Parsley, and Celery Salad. Crunchy pieces of fennel and celery are dressed with a Moroccan-inspired Preserved Lemon and Bitters Vinaigrette, olives, and chopped parsley.

6. Fennel-Apple Slaw. Thin slices of Belgian endive, apple, and fennel are tossed with a white wine vinaigrette.

7. Blood Orange and Mâche Salad. Despite its delicate leaves and mild flavor, mâche grows throughout winter in many places. Try tossing some with our Blood Orange Vinaigrette and sunflower seeds for a simple side salad.

8. Chicory and Arugula Salad with Honey Vinaigrette. Bitter winter greens are tamed by a honey-laced vinaigrette and crunchy walnuts.

9. Arugula and Pear Salad. Just because we see it on every winter menu doesn’t mean we tire of it. Top arugula with sliced pears, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese. Drizzle with some walnut oil and sherry vinegar (or whatever you have on hand), and season with salt and pepper.

10. Warm Escarole and Cannellini Bean Salad. Sauté finely chopped onion in a generous amount of oil, then add cannellini beans and cook until warm. Add cider vinegar to taste, then pour the mixture over chopped escarole. Toss a few times with your hands, season to taste with salt and pepper, and top with croutons.

Roxanne Webber is a senior editor at CHOW.