Refreshing with winter salads
Oh man. Thanksgiving was delicious. And I only had one plate. Plus a little extra turkey and mashed potatoes. We went to Ohio to visit relatives and now we’re back (the other ladies were also out of town), so please excuse the radio silence here at FarmHouse.
Here, let me make it up to you with these gorgeous winter salads. You might not think of winter as a good time for salads. We normally crave hot soupy things and fresh bread and rich sweets. But sometimes you just want something cold, crunchy, and light. Especially after heavy holiday foods.
These two salads are pretty different, but both are colorful and fun. Not to mention super tasty.
Asian Winter Slaw
I’m normally not a fan of coleslaw, or of raw cabbage, but this lovely little salad was born of necessity (we needed something marginally healthy for dinner and the larder was pretty empty) and inspired by my aunt’s version of a similar classic Midwestern salad made with Napa cabbage. The sturdiness of the bok choy means that this salad keeps fairly well for a day or two in the fridge without wilting.
1 medium bunch bok choy
2 large carrots
1 small apple
1/4 cup roasted lightly salted peanuts
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice (bottled is fine)
1+ tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of granulated or powdered garlic
Finely slice the bok choy, scrape and shred the carrots, and peel and julienne the apple. Toss all together in a large bowl until well-mixed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and granulated garlic. Taste and add more lemon juice or brown sugar if necessary. Pour over vegetables, add peanuts, and toss until well-coated.
Tereneh’s Orange and Red Onion Salad
Tereneh introduced me to this beauty. She doesn’t like dressing on her salad, but I do so I created a little honey mustard vinaigrette, which is lovely. You can use just about any kind of lettuce. Tereneh likes mixed field greens, but I used red leaf lettuce here. You can also use just about any kind of citrus fruit. With a little bread and butter, this makes an excellent lunch or light dinner.
1/2 a head mild lettuce
2 small oranges, tangerines, or clementines
1/2 a medium red onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1+ tablespoons honey
Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Section the orange, or peel and use sections of tangerine or clementine (substitute canned mandarin oranges in a pinch), taking care to remove seeds. Top lettuce with citrus sections and sliced onions. In a separate bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and honey, adjusting honey and lemon juice to taste. Pour over salad and toss to coat.
French Carrot Salad
This is not just a wintertime salad, but is so good. I first saw it on Orangette. Red or purple carrots are not quite sweet enough for this dish. You could add some julienned or shredded apple to this if you wanted.
1 pound sweet orange carrots
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove pressed garlic
salt to taste
Shred the carrots on a box grater, leaving 2 inch nubs so you don’t grate bits of your fingers in. Use a knife to finely julienne the carrot stubs. In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, pressed garlic, and a pinch of salt until combined, then pour over carrots and toss to coat well.
And there you have it! Beautiful winter salads for healthy eating-year round. And best of all – no tomatoes or cucumbers or other out-of-season produce! An apple and celery salad with a mustard vinaigrette might be next on my list…
Do you eat salads in winter? Have any favorite vegetable salads?