If your idea of a salad involves a bowl of leafy greens with peak summer vegetables and a light dressing, we have some exciting news: there’s a whole new side to salad that you maybe haven’t explored yet. While fresh, light salads are great during the heat of summer, colder weather calls for heartier, warmer salads made with the best ingredients winter has to offer. Say hello to root veggie and grain bowls galore, and goodbye to all those winter-induced “blah” desk lunches.
Warm Lentil Salad
This warm lentil salad proves that wintry salads can be colorful, too. Between the pop of bright red cherries, the buttery yellow of squash, and the subtle green from scallions and cucumbers, this hearty lentil dish is a rainbow in a bowl. The zesty, lemon, and red wine vinegar dressing ties all of the flavors together. You’re going to want to keep this recipe on standby.
Kale & Toasted Coconut Farro Salad
This Kale & Toasted Coconut Farro Salad makes use of farro, an Italian whole grain similar in texture to brown rice, but slightly chewier. The delicate, nutty flavor of farro pairs perfectly with sweet toasted coconut and the saltiness of soy sauce dressing. This salad is a great option for a creative holiday side dish, or for a weekday lunch when you want comfort food but just…need something green.
Chickpea, Barley & Feta Salad
Chewy, salty, and crunchy, this Chickpea, Barley & Feta Salad is a melting pot of amazing flavors and textures, and tastes as great when first made as it does reheated the next day. While the recipe doesn’t call for it to be served warm, it tastes great when heated up a bit —just make sure to keep the feta separate and crumble it over the salad after reheating.
Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Squash, and Tahini-Sriracha Dressing
This dish is so easy to throw together for a quick, satisfying dinner, you’ll be making it all winter long. It has the perfect amount of flavor and spice, and keeps well for 2–3 days if you like leftovers. You can customize the recipe to use your favorite kind of winter squash, or whichever option you can find at your local market.
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
2 cups squash, peeled and diced
2 cups kale, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
2 teaspoons sriracha
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. To one tray, add the diced squash and chickpeas. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix with your hands to ensure that the oil and spices are evenly distributed.
To the second tray, add the chopped kale. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix with your hands to ensure even coating. Put both trays in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
While the vegetables and chickpeas cook, make the dressing. Add the olive oil, tahini, sriracha, and salt and pepper to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
After 15 minutes, turn the kale and squash with tongs, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the kale is crispy and the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. You may have to remove the kale first.
Once cool, shred the crispy kale into smaller pieces and mix together with the quinoa, squash, and chickpeas. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and mix until well-incorporated.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash Salad
Spaghetti squash is a great base for a winter salad, because it blends well with so many varying flavors. Plus, it’s fun to make (and eat). This Italian-style spaghetti squash salad combines toasted nuts with creamy goat cheese and earthy spinach for the ultimate lunch party. Veggies + cheese + spinach = definitely a salad.
1 medium spaghetti squash
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts or pistachios
3 cups spinach, washed
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub the inside of the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast the squash halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.
While the squash roasts, toast the nuts in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Reserve in a small bowl.
In the same skillet, add one tablespoon olive oil and the garlic. Sautée until the garlic is lightly browned, then add the spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Remove the squash halves from the oven and let sit for 30 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Scrape the squash flesh with a fork to loosen the strands from the skin, and place strands in a medium bowl.
Add the goat cheese, toasted nuts, and cooked spinach to the bowl with the spaghetti squash. Drizzle with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to mix, making sure to incorporate the cheese evenly. Add salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste, and serve warm.
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