Greg DuPree

A crunchy, bright-flavored salad is a delicious counter to cold-weather comfort food. Here’s how to build a great one.

Zee Krstic
November 17, 2017

You might naturally put more effort into making salads during the summer, when the heat has you eating lighter anyway. But there’s nothing like a hearty winter salad to keep you feeling light and still full during colder temperatures as well. Here are six tips for making your cold-weather crunch fest fantastic.

Winter Greens                        

Hearty kale and radicchio deliver bold flavor, unlike mild spring greens such as butter lettuce and mâche. Kale is an outstanding source of nutrients, full of fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals.

Red Wine Vinegar

These greens can handle a strong vinegar that stands up to the greens’ peppery mineral flavors. And you’ll be happy to hear that a few tablespoons of this workhorse acid won’t cost you more than 10 calories!

Honey

It gives the dressing a little body, offsets bitterness, and pairs perfectly with blue cheese. In addition to proven therapeutic effects, honey is also great for any sort of weather-related inflammation and helps to boost your immune system.

Blue Cheese

The up-front flavors here cry out for cheese with plenty of oomph. Blue also adds luxe creaminess to each bite. You don’t need much: Two ounces of crumbled blue cheese only adds about 195 calories.

Winter Fruit

Sweet-tart orange segments and pomegranate arils (the part you eat) play well together and add a dazzling pop of color. Other great options for in-season produce during colder months include blood oranges, kumquats, and cranberries.

Nuts

For extra crunch and a touch of umami, nuts are a must. Pecans are better here than walnuts, which are slightly bitter. Pecans also are a superfood with a slew of heart-healthy polyphenol antioxidants. Just one ounce offers 60 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for manganese, and 40 percent of the DV for copper, as well as thiamin and zinc.