12 Hearty, Healthy & Colorful Salads to Brighten Your Winter Lunch

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

This is the part of winter where I begin to crave some sunshine — not to mention something fresh and vibrant to eat. Spring is just around the corner, and while the delicious foods of springtime are still a ways off, we can welcome the softening weather by enjoying the vegetables we’ve had with us all winter long. Here are a dozen recipes that speak to the craving for spring, and the wish for brighter, crunchier, lighter dishes.

There are fresh grain salads that are marvelous for lunchtime, a raw kale slaw with tangy peanut dressing, and a wintery mix of cauliflower, fennel and white beans. These salads are both light and nourishing, fresh and filling. Have a salad and look forward to spring!

• 1 Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs and Red Onion – My favorite grain salad — this is a mix of crunchy red onion, toothsome wheat berries, and sweet dried figs.
• 2 Couscous Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries – This salad is sweet and savory, hearty and filling.
• 3 Napa Cabbage and Tofu Salad – A fresh, crunchy mix of hearty ingredients.
• 4 Whole Wheat Couscous with Cherries and Arugula – Dried cherries and the sharp, pungent flavor of our favorite cold weather green, arugula, make this taste summery and fresh.
• 5 Wheat Berry Salad with Blood Oranges, Feta, and Red Onion Vinaigrette – The most savory citrus of winter — blood oranges — together with feta cheese and red onion make this a delicious winter lunch.
• 6 Colorful Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs – The bell peppers in this salad are out of season; substitute sun-dried tomatoes and celery instead.

• 7 Cauliflower, Fennel, and White Bean Winter Salad – An unusual (and very filling) mix of cauliflower and white beans. Also very good when lightly sauteed.
• 8 Fennel and Radicchio Winter Salad with Pecans – A mix of bitter and vibrant winter vegetables.
• 9 Avocado and Grapefruit Salad – A taste of California!
• 10 Quick Celery Root Salad with Capers and Lemon – A vegetable many of us are unfamiliar with. This quick slaw is perky and tangy.
• 11 Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing – Kale is hearty and ubiquitous year-round. I love this slaw and make it with all sorts of mix-ins — it’s good just with the kale and the dressing alone, too.
• 12 Broccoli Salad with Carrots and Currants – A healthier take on the classic broccoli slaw.

What’s your favorite winter salad?

(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)