Fall and Winter Salads Article - Allrecipes.com
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Fall and Winter Salads

There's plenty of cold-weather produce that you can make into delicious seasonal salads.

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Look for fruits such as apples, pears, cranberries and grapes. Vegetables include fennel, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.


    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.


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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

    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.

    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.

    Mar. 11, 2010 3:38 pm
    Add frozen cranberries and frozen strawberries to your smoothies for a wonderful healthy treat. Cannot get cranberries now. Have to wait for next year and I will stock up.
    Nov. 20, 2010 3:12 pm
    Hello. I always like to cook everything from scratch, but, this year with work, I am short of time. I will be cooking turkey, dressing, mash potatoes. I want a good salad to go with this. Can anyone out there give me a suggestion? Thanks and Happy Thankgiving to all. Betty
    Nov. 20, 2010 5:52 pm
    Betty, What about a broccoli salad? I was planning on soup for a first course. But now that it looks like it may be 80 degrees, I'm looking at broccoli salads. Another idea is a congealed salad. Either one can be made a the day before.
    Nov. 22, 2010 4:12 pm
    Hi, Betty. I am sold on CPK's Moroccan Chicken Salad. I make it without the chicken and will be making it for Thanksgiving this year. As described on menu: Moroccan-spiced chicken breast with crisp Romaine lettuce, roasted butternut squash, Medjool dates, fresh avocado, toasted almonds (i prefer walnuts ), fresh beets, chopped egg, carrots, dried cranberries and red bell peppers. Tossed with our champagne vinaigrette. Try it if it sounds good to you!
    Jan. 26, 2011 12:10 pm
    wow what is this CPK moroccan chicken salad? Sounds amazing! Where can I find teh actual recipe??
    sister burgess 
    Jan. 14, 2012 8:11 am
    you can google it. CPK is California Pizza Kitchen.
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:40 pm
    These salads and slaws I will try assoon as I can eat more than applesauce or Jell-o as i am on a liquid and semi soft diet for a few days I told my daughter that i will eat at Mcdonalds when I come to tomah WI to pick her up and we can get something at kwik trip because I will have to fuel up to get back home.
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:30 pm
    I top fresh spinach with dehydrated tomato and sweet pepper flakes. (They're great on pizza, too.) And I sprout radish seeds, which add some nutritious zing to a salad. (Not a shill, but I get the vegetable flakes and radish seeds from Frontier.)
    May 10, 2012 6:43 pm
    This is a great article with lots of ideas for great salads. Salads come easily to me in the Spring and Summer, when there is plenty of fresh produce. I have lots of new ideas on my list now for Fall and Winter! Thanks!
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