11 Winter Salads To Try This Month

Looking for healthy lunchtime inspiration? These wintry salads make the most of seasonal ingredients like butternut squash, mushrooms and chestnuts. From a spiced cauliflower salad to hot smoked trout with watercress and wasabi, here are some simple recipes to try now…

Butternut Squash & Feta Salad

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
35 Minutes
Ingredients
For the salad:
1 small butternut squash, seeded and cut into small wedges
½ a red onion
250g of kale, stems discarded and roughly chopped
50g of feta
For the dressing:
1 tsp of Gimber Ginger Concentrate
2 tbsp of olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste
Method
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Toss the squash pieces in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes until tender and golden.
Step 2
Blanch the kale in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, lift into very cold water to stop it cooking, then drain well and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Step 3
Chop the red onion into thin slices, and crumble the feta, ready to assemble the salad.
Step 4
To make the dressing, mix the ingredients together and season to taste.
Step 5
Toss the salad ingredients together with the warm butternut squash, then drizzle with the dressing and serve.

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Butternut Squash & Mushroom Salad

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
½ of a small butternut squash
3 tbsp of olive oil
½ tsp of smoked salt
10 shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp of tamari
600g of rocket
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 pear, thinly sliced
100g of roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Method
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and dice into 2cm cubes. Transfer the squash to a baking tray, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and toss to coat. Distribute the cubes evenly and roast for 20 minutes, turning over occasionally.
Step 2
Clean and trim away any woody ends off the mushrooms, toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of tamari.
Step 3
Remove the squash from the oven and move the cubes over to clear some space on the tray. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and return to the oven for another 10 mins until the squash is very tender, and the mushrooms are well browned. Stir both occasionally but keep them separate. Set aside the mushrooms and squash to cool slightly.
Step 4
Whisk together the remaining oil, tamari, and smoked salt to make a quick dressing. Transfer the mushrooms and squash into a mixing bowl, and add the rocket, spring onions, pear and hazelnuts. Combine the dressing with the salad and serve.

10-Minute Winter Chestnut Salad

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
10 Minutes
Ingredients
160g of savoy cabbage
250g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Spiced Grains & Chestnuts
1 tbsp of olive oil
30g of pecans, roughly chopped
30g of dried cranberries, roughly chopped
10g of fresh thyme, leaves removed
Salt & pepper, to taste
Method
Step 1
Finely shred the cabbage and place in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and blanch for 4-5 minutes or until vibrant green and softened slightly. Drain well and return to the bowl.
Step 2
Meanwhile, heat the grains in the microwave as per the packet instructions. Add to the bowl with the olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss together with the pecans and cranberries, reserving some to serve, then divide between two bowls.
Step 3
Top with fresh thyme leaves and the remaining pecans and cranberries.

Apple & Crayfish Salad

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
2 Pink Lady apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp of garlic puree
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
2 sprigs of tarragon, leaves stripped and chopped
160g of cooked crayfish tails
100g of red chicory, leaves separated
½ small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Pinch of chilli flakes
Method
Step 1
Heat the oil over a low heat in a small frying pan, then add the garlic puree and cook gently for 1 minute.
Step 2
Add the lemon zest and juice, chilli, tarragon and season well.
Step 3
Add the crayfish and cook for a further minute until warmed through.
Step 4
Scatter the apple, chicory and fennel on a serving plate and spoon over the warmed crayfish and dressing to serve.

Katsu-Tofu Salad

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
1 shallot
50g of baby leaf salad
20g of mango chutney
1 tbsp of curry powder
1 carrot
280g of plain tofu
15ml of soy sauce
15ml of rice vinegar
5g of black sesame seeds
5g of toasted sesame seeds
100g of brown rice
160g of blanched edamame beans
15g of fresh root ginger
Method
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7. Rinse the brown rice, add it to a pot with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes or until it's tender with a slight bite.
Step 2
While the rice is cooking, cut the tofu into 12 slices. Combine half the soy sauce with half a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large bowl, then add the tofu slices and gently toss until nicely coated.
Step 3
Add the coated tofu to a baking tray, sprinkle over the black and toasted sesame seeds and put the tray in the oven for 15-20 min or until golden and crisp – this is your sesame crusted tofu.
Step 4
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop or grate the ginger. Heat a small non-stick pan with half a tablespoon of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chopped ginger and curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
Step 5
Once fragrant, transfer to a small bowl. Add the mango chutney, remaining soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of cold water to a small bowl – this is your katsu dressing.
Step 6
Top, tail and peel the carrot, then continue to peel the lengths until you end up with a pile of carrot ribbons. Peel and finely slice the shallot.
Step 7
Once the rice is cooked, add the blanched edamame beans to the pot and cook for a further minute or until warmed through. Once done, drain and rinse under cold water until cooled.
Step 8
Wash the baby leaf salad, then pat it dry with kitchen paper. Add the sliced shallot, carrot ribbons and baby leaf salad to the pot with the cooled brown rice and edamame.
Step 9
Add the rice vinegar, half a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and gently mix everything together.
Step 10
Serve the sesame crusted tofu over the brown rice and edamame salad, then drizzle the katsu dressing all over and serve.

French Lentil Salad With Hard Boiled Eggs

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
For the salad:
400g tin of cooked green lentils, rinsed and drained
100g of goats’ cheese
2 eggs, hardboiled, peeled and halved
1 onion, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp of olive oil
30g of roasted salted almonds, roughly chopped
Small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp of lemon juice
4 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Method
Step 1
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until softened. Turn off the heat, add the lentils, stir through and set to one side.
Step 2
Make the dressing by shaking together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, honey and seasoning in a jar, then add the dressing to the warm pan and stir through.
Step 3
Divide the mixture between two bowls and top with two halves of egg, the crumbled goats’ cheese, almonds and chopped parsley. Serve warm.

Roast Turmeric & Cauliflower Salad

Serves
4
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
1 Hour
Ingredients
1 cauliflower
500g of Brussels sprouts, peeled and scored
2 beetroots, washed and chopped into wedges
2 pots of ChicP Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric Hummus
1 tbsp of tahini
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of turmeric
A handful of nigella seeds
1 tsp of olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
Method
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Chop the cauliflower into florets and place on a baking tray. Pour over the turmeric.
Step 2
Peel the beetroot and place them onto another baking tray with the sprouts. Lightly pour over some olive oil and season. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
Step 3
While the veg is cooking, mix the tahini with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Mix thoroughly until you have a light paste. Add more water if it gets too thick.
Step 4
When the veg is cooked, plate up the hummus to create a nice base – half a pot for each plate. Top with the veg and the tahini dressing.

Kiwi Salad With Broccoli, Feta & Pecans

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
1 Hour 50 Minutes
Ingredients
1 medium broccoli, grated
1 avocado, sliced
3 Zespri Sungold kiwis
200g of quinoa, rice or bulgur wheat, cooked and cooled
1 tsp of lemon juice
20g of feta
20g of pecans, toasted
½ a pomegranate
1 tsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Method
Step 1
Grate the broccoli into a bowl, starting with the florets and stopping once you reach the hard stalk.
Step 2
Slice the avocado lengthways and the kiwifruit into small chunks.
Step 3
Toast the pecans for a few minutes in a frying pan on a low heat with a little oil.
Step 4
In a bowl stir together the quinoa or bulgur wheat and grated broccoli, and a squeeze of lemon and the olive oil. Season to taste.
Step 5
Assemble all the ingredients, topping with the crumbled feta, a scattering of pomegranate and more seasoning.

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Hot-Smoked Trout & Watercress Salad With English Wasabi

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
10 Minutes
Ingredients
85g of watercress
1 large hot-smoked trout, skin removed
½ a beetroot, peeled
25g of fresh English wasabi
50ml of natural yoghurt
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Wasabi flowers to garnish
Method
Step 1
Use a sharp knife to thinly slice the beetroot, then put them into a bowl of ice-cold water to keep them fresh.
Step 2
Remove the beetroot from the bowl and drain. Place them into a bowl along with the watercress and flake in the smoked trout.
Step 3
Drizzle over the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, then add in a pinch of salt. Toss well to coat the salad in the dressing.
Step 4
Arrange the salad on two plates. Add a dollop of crème fraiche onto each, then grate on half of the wasabi using a fine grater.
Step 5
Finish with a few flowers and serve immediately.
Step 6
COOK’S TIP
Once fresh wasabi has been grated, it must be served within a few minutes, otherwise the potency and flavour will be lost.

Asian-Style Warm Beef & Watercress Salad With Nuoc Cham Dressing

Serves
2
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
For the salad:
85g of watercress
½ a small red onion, thinly sliced
1 plum tomato, thinly sliced
2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
300g of sirloin steak, cut into strips
Salt & pepper, to taste
For the nuoc cham dressing (makes about 250ml):
Juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp of fish sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp of dark brown soft sugar
100ml of warm water
1 tbsp of chopped coriander
Method
Step 1
First make the dressing by stirring together warm water and sugar until completely dissolved. Combine with all other dressing ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
Step 2
Add the oil to a frying pan and heat until it’s smoking. Add the beef and stir fry for one minute, adding salt and pepper to taste – the beef should be browned on the outside but remain pink in the centre.
Step 3
Remove the beef and allow the pan to cool slightly, then add the chopped garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant.
Step 4
In a bowl, combine the watercress, red onion, tomato, beef and garlic. Toss with the dressing and mix well, saving the rest of the dressing for later. Serve immediately.

Chicory, Pear, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad

Serves
4
Difficulty
Easy
Total Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
For the salad:
2 ripe pears, sliced
2 heads of red chicory
120g of full-flavoured blue cheese such as gorgonzola or stilton
12 walnut halves, roughly chopped
For the dressing:
5g of Knoops 100% Dark Chocolate Flakes
1 tbsp of sherry vinegar
1 tbsp of mirin
4 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Method
Step 1
To make the dressing whisk together the dark chocolate, vinegar, and mirin. Microwave for 10 seconds, or heat in a small pan over a low heat, then whisk again to melt in the chocolate. Once combined, add the olive oil and whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 2
Slice the pears lengthways and arrange on two plates. Separate the chicory leaves and scatter them on top, followed by the chopped walnuts. Pour the dressing lightly over everything. Break the cheese into bitesize pieces and dot across the plates.
Step 3
Finally, sprinkle some extra chocolate flakes over each plate, and serve.

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