By Allrecipes Editors

There's plenty of cold-weather produce that you can make into delicious seasonal salads. Look for fruits such as apples, pears, cranberries, and grapes; vegetables like fennel, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. Here are some of our favorite healthy, seasonal ingredients for the best fall and winter salads:

Apples

Apples are plentiful during the autumn months. For salads, choose varieties that are sweet and crisp. Popular salad apples include Red Delicious, Fuji, and Winesap. Buy firm apples that smell fresh and have smooth skins.

Apple, Pecan, Cranberry, and Avocado Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing

"I like using Cripp, Braeburn, or Gala apples in this yummy salad," says teenbeauty.

Photo by pomplemousse

Apple Almond Crunch Salad

"This easy-to-assemble salad combines the great crunch of apples and almonds with the sweetness of golden raisins and the unique texture of feta cheese," says SKETTYMAKER. "The tanginess of the raspberry dressing works really well with the crispy ingredients."

Curried Carrot Salad

"Curry and raisins add a spicy and sweet element to this sweet and savory carrot apple salad with a fresh bite from parsley," says Alli Shircliff.

Photo by Alli

Apple Avocado Salad with Tangerine Dressing

"You wouldn't think this mixture of apples, avocados, blue cheese, and tangerine dressing would go together, but it's wonderful," says Donna Smally.

Autumn Apple Salad II

"A sweet, tart, crunchy side dish that is especially nice in the fall," says daisy.

Photo by Molly


Discover more Apple Salad Recipes.


Pears

It's also the time of year to sample all types of pears. Select those with even color and a slight blush. Be careful when handling pears because they are delicate and bruise easily. Although there are thousands of known pear varieties in the world, there are a handful recognized especially for their superb flavor and fresh eating qualities: Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, and Comice.

Quick Tip: To keep pear slices from browning, sprinkle them with lemon juice and place them in a water bath--or serve them immediately after slicing.

Roquefort Pear Salad

"This is the best salad I've ever eaten and I make it all the time," says Michelle Krzmarzick. "It is tangy from the blue cheese, fruity from the pears, and crunchy from the caramelized pecans. The mustard vinaigrette pulls it all together."

Photo by lutzflcat

Tangy Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

"Romaine, blue cheese, chopped pears, walnuts, and red onions, combined with a tangy dressing, make this salad unforgettable," says LARAL. "It is a sure hit worth trying!"

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

"This is the BEST salad that I've ever had," raves AMAE69. It was easy to make and all the ingredients work so well together - from the dried fruit to the apples & pears along with the cheese & the nuts - there's just a little bit of everything and just the right amount of sweetness and flavor."

Photo by DEBORAHM4

Curried Cashew, Pear, and Grape Salad

A yummy, healthy salad loaded with nuts, fruit and greens, with the kick of curry and cayenne pepper. "Fantastic!" says baaramewe. "Everyone loved it. I used Bartlett pears and balsamic vinegar, and it tasted wonderful!"

Pear and Pomegranate Salad

"A fall and winter favorite," says JPMJ. "I am always eager for pomegranates to come in season so I can make this again. I make my own pomegranate juice by pressing the seeds against a metal sieve."

Photo by Annafur

Cranberries

Fresh cranberries are very tart, and are usually sweetened up before they go into a salad. Dried cranberries add gorgeous color and sweet chewiness to salads.

Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad

Spinach, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries are tossed with a sweet and tangy, homemade dressing. "Great recipe," says J MONOPOLI. "Toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and a terrific dressing made this a favorite with my family."

Photo by lutzflcat

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is tossed with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, bell peppers, curry powder, and fresh cilantro in this tasty salad.

Missy's Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad

"A yummy, easy salad with candied walnuts, cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese, mixed greens, and a raspberry vinaigrette," says MissyPorkChop. "It's always a big hit."

Photo by Dianne

Cranberry Pecan Salad

"Raspberry Dijon vinaigrette is savory with cranberries, toasted pecans, red onion, and feta cheese," says STACY38. A real crowd pleaser! Can substitute brie for feta, too."

Cran-Broccoli Salad

A festive broccoli slaw salad dried cranberries, chopped pecans, green onions, and a tangy dressing. "I liked all the flavor of the dressing, with the garlic, lemon, and sweetness of the maple syrup," says Lillian. "The cranberries are also a nice touch.

Photo by Molly

Grapes

Grapes are harvested when sweet and ripe, so look for plump clusters that are firmly attached to green stems. Once at home, refrigerate grapes until ready to use, and then rinse with cold water, halve them, and toss them in your favorite salad.

Nutty Wild Rice Salad with Kiwifruit and Grapes | Photo by lutzflcat

Fennel

Fennel is available from fall through spring and adds a hint of fresh sweet licorice flavor to any salad. This aromatic plant is pale green with a celery-like stem and feathery foliage. Its root base and stems can be treated like a vegetable and baked, braised, or sliced and eaten raw in salads. The greenery can be used as a garnish or snipped like dill to enhance many recipes. Fennel's licorice-like flavor is sweeter and more delicate than anise and, when cooked, becomes even lighter and softer than in its raw state.

Spinach and citrus with fennel salad | Photo by Meredith

Cabbage

The cabbage family is wide and varied: broccoli and cauliflower are members. Some of the best heads of cabbage for salads are the crinkled-leaf "Savoy" types, also sold as Napa, January King or Wivoy cabbage. These are thin-leafed, tender, mild, and tasty. When choosing a head of cabbage, look for fresh, crisp leaves that are firmly packed; the head should feel heavy for its size.

Kale salad with red cabbage and seeds | Photo by Meredith

Cauliflower and Broccoli

These vegetables are available year-round, but especially plentiful in the spring and late fall. When buying cauliflower, select one that is white or creamy white in color, firm, and heavy. Cauliflower may be stored for up to one week in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Keep it dry and any brownish colored portions may be trimmed away before cooking.

Fresh Broccoli Salad | Photo by asnella

When shopping for broccoli, look for leaves and stems with dark green heads. Look for tender, young stalks that are firm with compact buds in the head. Yellow flowers in buds or very rough bumpy heads may indicate broccoli is past its prime.

Crunchy Cauliflower and Tomato Salad | Photo by lutzflcat


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