In the cold months of winter, people still crave a healthful salad, whether it's before dinner or for lunch. Unfortunately, much of the popular salad ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes and even regular lettuces are out of season. This leads one into a it better to forgo salad altogether until in-season veggies are plentiful or eat ones that have been grown half a world away that might have less flavor and nutrition? My best solution? Think outside of the salad box. Here is a list of great salad ingredients that are in season in the winter and are all very nutritious.


1. Spinach

2. Beets

3. Hard squashes

4. Brussels spouts

5. Carrots

6. Unique chicory greens like endive, frisee (curly endive), radicchio and escarole

7. Storage friendly toppings like nuts and seeds


Perhaps you've never tried some of the above ingredients on their own even, but trust me, tossed together they make a beautiful salad and since they are harvested in the fall and winter months are far more nutritious than your hot-house tomatoes and iceberg lettuce. Try a few of the stars of the list in my newest recipe. I made this for dinner to accompany a flank steak at my parents' house last weekend and they both said it was one of the best salads they've ever tasted. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the goat cheese...



Winter Squash Spinach Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette



-1 small butternut squash

-2 TBSP olive oil

-1 tsp. salt

- tsp. pepper

-1 large bunch of spinach

-4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

-3 TBSP. roasted pepitas



-1 TBSP Dijon mustard

-1 TBSP maple syrup

-1 tsp. ground thyme

-1 tsp. ground rosemary

- cup olive oil

-3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

Place in a jar and shake until well combined. 


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop squash into small cubes. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper and bake for 45 minutes or until some spots are blackened.


Allow the squash to cool slightly before assembling salad. Divide between four and plate the squash, spinach goat cheese and top with a dusting of pepitas. Dress with the vinaigrette, about one to two tablespoons per plate. 

Kelly Bowlin
Kelly Bowlin
Administration Director & BAC Foodie :) 
Bay Athletic Club
Like me on Facebook