Summer is definitely one of our favorite seasons, but it’s already got a lot going for it. When it comes to winter, we sometimes need inspiration–especially in the form of comfort food. If you’re over the stews, casseroles and chilis, we suggest turning to something lighter, fresher–and packed with nutrients, like these weeknight-friendly, hearty winter salads.
What better comfort in the winter than a really delicious, vibrant salad filled with the season’s bounty of veggies and some year-round garnishes.
With an assist from Nutritious Life founder Keri Glassman, who is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and salad aficionado, and Chef Ryan Wombacher, executive chef at Gemstone Group’s Citrine and Topaz Cafes in suburban Chicago, we developed four hearty winter salads to get all your taste buds humming.
Dig in, and don’t tell summer just how much you love winter salad season.
4 Hearty Winter Salads to Inspire Your Next Weeknight Dinner
This recipe pairs slightly-bitter Belgian endive with button mushrooms and crisp Bartlett pears and tops it with crunchy toasted walnuts and a lemon-apple cider vinaigrette.
The sweet potatoes in this arugula salad are not only delicious, but super satisfying and contrast really well with peppery, slightly bitter arugula. Dress it with our honey balsamic vinaigrette for a sweet and sour punch topped with a dollop of goat cheese for creamy, satisfying flavor.
Enjoy with a side of hearty crackers or our nut and seed bread.
This salad begins with hearty kale. We suggest Tuscan kale (also called dinosaur kale or lacinato kale) for its sturdy, dark green leaves and mild flavor. Pair it with tartly-sweet Honeycrisp apples, spiced pepitas and creamy goat cheese, drizzled with an apple cider-maple vinaigrette.
Chef Ryan Wombacher’s beet salad is simple but so perfectly balanced. With it’s earthy sweet beets and bright citrus notes on a bed of bibb lettuce, we’re sure you’ll be adding this salad to your regular rotation. It’s topped with tangy feta cheese and slightly-sweet pistachios for a flavor combination that hits all the right notes.