These delicious winter salads are quick to make and interesting to eat with their varied colours and textures. If that’s not enough to persuade you, remember they’re also a great way of getting your five-a-day.
It’s all too easy to think of salads as a light summery meal, but they’re simply too tasty to cast aside when winter grabs us in his icy grasp.
Winter salads should be more substantial than summer salads. Let leaves take a secondary role—if you add them at all. Think grains, roast vegetables, pulses, potatoes and pasta to enjoy salads all year round.
Here are 10 of my favourite comforting winter salads:
Herb roasted potato and rocket salad
Leaves take a background role in this salad. They are purely there to add a peppery kick and a punch of colour.
The baby potatoes are roasted with herbs and finished with the zing of lemon.
Squash and buckwheat rose harissa salad
You may not have heard of buckwheat groats before. They are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant and they form the perfect base for a gluten free salad.
Here they’re served mixed with roast butternut squash, spicy harissa, pomegranate seeds and herbs. The harissa is homemade, but you could use a good quality ready-made harissa too.
Courgette noodles and veggies
The courgettes in this dish are made into noodles with a spiralizer. They’re then popped into the colander just before the freshly cooked spaghetti is drained.
The hot water heats the noodles for a warm noodle salad with a tomato and vegetable sauce. Such an inspired idea.
Conchiglioni pasta salad with sautéed mushrooms and goats’ cheese
The mushroom flavour really shines through in this simple pasta dish.
The shell pasta is coated in a light dressing of pesto and teamed with the fresh flavour of cucumber and creamy goats cheese. Simple but delicious.
North African roasted winter salad
This warm, colourful salad combines bright roasted vegetables with the crunch of nuts in a lightly spiced pomegranate dressing.
Beetroot, parsnips and carrots are the base for this colourful feast.
You may be mystified as to what an otsu salad is.
Otsu is a cold soba (buckwheat) noodle salad named after a city in Japan.
In this salad the noodles are served with tofu, spring onions, cucumber and fresh herb. They’re then dressed in the most wonderful soy and tamari dressing.
Rocket and mozzarella farfalle salad
Bow pasta is served with rocket, peas, spring onion, sweetcorn and fresh milky mozzarella in this colourful dish.
The salad is finished with honey mustard dressing. It’s filling enough to be a served through the cold months of winter, but it tastes like spring.
Roasted beetroot salad with sweet potato and pear
For this jewel coloured salad, beetroot and sweet potato are roasted in the oven.
They’re then served with juicy pear, cubes of tangy feta cheese and crunchy walnuts for the perfect combination of flavours and texture.
Black bean lentil salad with cumin lime dressing
If you’ve not tried black beans before, you really must. They are so creamy and have a great flavour.
They work really well in homemade burgers, soups, stews and salads. In this salad they are teamed with lentils, salad vegetables and fresh herbs, then tossed in a cumin lime dressing.
Warm pasta salad with roast vegetables and pesto vinaigrette
Another filling pasta salad, this time a warm salad full of the rich flavour of roasted vegetables, olives and chickpeas in a freshly made walnut pesto.
This is a really satisfying salad that could be served as a main evening meal. Any leftovers would be perfect for a cold lunch the next day.
Jacqueline Meldrum is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Jacqueline blogs at Tinned Tomatoes.