A Christmas salad of winter greens & seasonal fruit

It’s funny how this salad came to be: a rough chop of leftover greens from the crisper drawer and a few odd bits of scrounged fruit. It wasn’t until I had everything assembled on my cutting board that I noticed the unmistakably festive red, white and green colors.

From there it was merely a matter of balancing the flavors – bitter versus sweet – and textures (the kale benefits from a five-minute marinade in the vinaigrette before the salad is tossed) before mounding it next to another holiday staple – tourtière.

One forkful into this plate and I realized it was the perfect match: rich, spiced pork pie with buttery pastry complemented by a slightly bitter, crunchy salad of winter greens.

Not only does this salad boast the colors of Christmas, but it offers a welcome burst of acidity at a time when foods tend to be so rich. I think you’re going to want to stock some kale and pomegranate in the refrigerator this week.

A quick salad fix

All of the ingredients in my Christmas salad can be purchased well ahead of time and forgotten about until the big day, or any night you are craving a big bowl of something fresh and not coated in sprinkles. As long as they are well-wrapped and refrigerated, both winter greens and fruit will stay crisp and fresh for at least a week.

Make a double batch of clementine vinaigrette and you’ll be all set for a quick salad fix over the holidays. For me that is just as essential as a pot of comforting post-Christmas dinner turkey soup on Boxing Day.

 Salad variations

If you’re certain that the combination above won’t go over well with your in-laws or guests, these salad ingredients can be easily mixed up to suit your tastes. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Dried cranberries ~ for a sweet touch, and a nice balance against the bitter greens.
  • Diced apple ~ add it right before serving.
  • Toasted nuts ~ pine, pecan, or walnuts would be great.
  • Clementine segments ~ can be prepared in advance.
  • Endive ~ if radiccio is too bitter.
  • Iceberg ~ in place of the Napa cabbage.
  • Bacon. Uh huh.


A Christmas salad of winter greens & fruit
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Cuisine: Salad
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6
Not only does this salad boast the colors of Christmas, but it offers a welcome crunch and burst of acidity at a time when foods tend to be so rich.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 head of Napa cabbage (a small head)
  • 1/2 head of radicchio
  • 4-5 stalks kale
  • 1/4 cup fresh, organic cranberries
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • Clementine-coriander vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. Peel outer leaves off of cabbage and radicchio and shred them with a sharp Santoku or chef knife. Don't worry about making them too thin.
  2. Wash and dry kale and remove greenery from the stalk. Chop to about the same thickness as the cabbage.
  3. Wash and drain cranberries, then slice them into rounds with a small paring knife.
  4. Segment the pomegranate and set aside.
  5. In a large salad bowl, toss kale with a tablespoon of vinaigrette and allow to marinade for about five minutes.
  6. Add cabbage and radicchio and toss with a few more tablespoons vinaigrette. Sprinkle sliced cranberries and pomegranates and present at the table. Toss salad one more time before mounding it onto plates.

 

Do you crave salads in winter?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. This sounds delicious! You had me a “clementine-coriander vinaigrette” :-)
    Kara @SimpleKids.net’s last post: Cookies and cocoa on a December afternoon #slowholidays

  2. Yes. I usually make a spinach salad with candied almonds and mandarin oranges.
    Steph’s last post: Bring on the 8-track Tapes:The Ghost of Christmas Past

  3. I crave salads all year long, the kind of salad changes from season to season. This looks yummy!

  4. What a pretty salad! I bet it tastes as good as it looks too.
    Allison’s last post: Gift Card Giveaway from Flatout Bread

  5. What a beautiful salad for the holidays! I have this on my list to try now, and it is packed full of healthy stuff which is great.
    Julia’s last post: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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