Sunday, 13 October 2019

Vegetarian Winter Salads Made Easy


Eating locally grown foods is one of the most sustainable ways you can feed yourself and you get bonus points if the ingredients don't need to be cooked.  In the summer it is easy to make salads but this may seem more challenging in the winter and with supermarkets supplying all type of fruit and veg all year round it can also be difficult to know what is is season and what has flown halfway round the world to grace your dinner plate.  Help is at hand.  Below is a list of salad friendly vegetables and fruits that are in season in winter and with so many great winter veggies to choose from you won't miss tomatoes, avocado and cucumber etc.  One point of note though, even if you are buying from this list do check where the produce is from as supermarkets will still often import from far away if it best suits them.

Use in season fruit and veg to make great winter salads




Salad Vegetables and Fruits in Season in Winter


All of these (with the exception perhaps of squash) can be eaten raw which is a real bonus, saving energy and retaining the maximum amount of nutrients in the food.  Citrus fruits and pomegranates will be imported but choosing those nearby countries such as Spain reduces food miles. You may be unfamiliar with eating some of these raw in salads but do give them a go. And for all of them choose younger and smaller ones over older bigger ones - they will be crunchier and sweeter. Save the big ones for slow cooked stews and warming soups!

  • Red, white and green cabbages are great shredded or grated in salads or slaws
  • Cress and sprouted seeds - these are super easy to grow at home
  • Celeriac - grated
  • Carrot - shaved or grated
  • Kohl rabi (early winter)
  • Beetroot - grated raw or roasted
  • Winter salad leaves - rocket, lambs lettuce/corn salad, cress, radicchio, claytonia, purslane, land cress, various oriental greens  etc
  • Kale
  • Fennel
  • Cauliflower broken into small florets
  • Raw Brussel sprouts, sliced finely but do choose small young sprouts which are sweeter
  • Onions especially red ones which tend to be sweeter
  • Leeks, thinly sliced - again go for young ones
  • Roasted squash
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Citrus fruit
  • Pomegranates

Extras for your winter salad


Once you have a based of vegetables you can boost your salad with any of these great additions.

  • Dried fruit
  • Seeds such as pine nuts, courgette, pumpkin, sesame, poppy, sunflower etc
  • Nuts
  • Small amounts of cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Olives and pickles
  • Fresh herbs - you can keep pots of herbs growing all year on a warm window sill

Dressings


Creating a tasty salad dressing can change a salad from being a bowl of slightly less than interesting vegetables to a veritable feast.  Get adventurous mixing new dressings from the following ingredients:

  • Good quality oils
  • Various vinegars - wine, cider, balsamic, herb or fruit infused
  • Sherry
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Orange and other fruit juices
  • Mustards
  • Garlic
  • Herbs, spices and chilli
  • Pomegranate molasses - if you've never tried this before you are in for a treat ... but get a good quality one for the best flavour.  It works magnificently with red cabbage salads.

There are plenty of pages of recipes for winter salads online so do have a search (Using Ecosia.org of course) or try out these ideas:

My very own grated beetroot salad - remember to keep some mint growing in a pot inside for this one.

Winter salad - grated beetroot and apple

Freekeh salad with nuts and coriander from My Primrose Hill Kitchen. Freekah is a form of green wheat but you could easily substitute bulgur wheat, farro, spelt or wheat berries in this delicious winter salad.

Winter salads made easy


Vegan feta winter salad from Curiously Consious. As cucumber will not be in season swap for something else crunchy that will be - I reckon apples would work well or maybe small cauliflower florets.

Winter salad with feta beetroot and seasonal leaves


Roasted butternut salad from Nancy on the Homefront.  This one includes iceberg lettuce that will not be in season in winter but you can easily use any of the salad greens I list above.

Winter salad with roasted butternut squash and spinach


Do you have a favourite way to eat salads in winter?

All you need to know to make great winter salads - seasonal ingredients and salad dressings


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