Aren’t winter salads kind of the best? There are some days when I just need something warm, but more often than not, I’m happy to dive into a big bowl of greens with a good variety of delicious add-ins. For a salad to be truly satisfying and filling, I make sure to include lots of fresh and/or cooked veggies, toasted nuts and seeds, and always something creamy – in this case, the avocado. If I’m really hungry, I might throw in some chickpeas, lentils or baked tofu.
I often find that the hardest part of making a salad is finding the energy to make the dressing, but homemade dressing is always so much better. I try to get around this by making big batches of dressing on the weekends or early in the week. Dressings and vinaigrettes usually keep for up to a week, and having them ready to go in the fridge makes mealtimes so much easier.
I know beets are a somewhat divisive food, but I just love them. I did spend many, many years disliking them, so I can understand if they’re not your thing. You can certainly use a different kind of root vegetable (parsnips, carrots or even sweet potatoes) in their place, but I would recommend roasting rather than steaming them. Hope you give this one a try, and become as excited about winter salads as I am!
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ cup walnuts
- ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- ½ small bunch of kale, washed, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 5 cups total)
- 3 small beets (or 1 large), peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Cara Cara orange, supremed
- ½ avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
- Blend all ingredients except for the olive oil in an upright blender, or using a large jar and an immersion blender.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil (while the blender is still running) until everything is combined. Adjust seasoning if required. Keep refrigerated while you prepare the rest of the salad components.
- Using a double boiler, steam the beets until tender, then set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- On a small baking sheet, combine the walnuts with the salt, garlic powder, olive oil, maple syrup and optional cayenne. Bake in preheated oven until walnuts are lightly golden, about ten minutes, stirring twice. Allow to cool for at least five minutes.
- Put the kale in a salad bowl, and massage with a tablespoon of the dressing, until the kale is bright green and more tender.
- Add in the supremed orange, the beets, the walnuts and the avocado. You can either dress the salad with a few tablespoons of salad dressing, tossing everything to combine, or serve the dressing on the side. The dressing recipe makes more than you will need for this salad, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a week.