What to CookGenius RecipesSaladsTips & TechniquesWinter

15 Genius Tips for Better Salads, Even in Winter

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So what if it's zero degrees sometimes! Here are 15 bonafide Genius Recipes that will keep you in vegetables and dressings (and, occasionally, legumes and eggs and meats) from now until the sun sticks around long enough to grow a good tomato.

Better yet, bundled up in each of these recipes are smart techniques you can put to work on all of your salads, all year long—I've unbundled them below.

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Dressing Hacks

Molly Wizenberg & Brandon Pettit's Red Wine Vinaigrette
Molly Wizenberg & Brandon Pettit's Red Wine Vinaigrette

Make so-so vinegar tastes like the fancy stuff with an itty bitty slosh of red wine.


Toro Bravo's Radicchio Salad with Manchego Vinaigrette
Toro Bravo's Radicchio Salad with Manchego Vinaigrette

Or! By steeping chopped red onion in it for a spell, then straining it out.

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Gabrielle Hamilton's Endive Salad in the Roman Puntarelle Style
Gabrielle Hamilton's Endive Salad in the Roman Puntarelle Style

For an extra-bright, crisp salad, add crushed ice.


Engin Atkin's Turkish Radish and Herb Salad (Anatolian Gypsy Salad)
Engin Atkin's Turkish Radish and Herb Salad (Anatolian Gypsy Salad)

Didn't believe me about the ice? Here it is again. (Also, you don't need olive oil to make a balanced dressing, and in this case, you're better off without it.)


Eric Korsh's Farm Lettuces Salad with Dill Vinaigrette
Eric Korsh's Farm Lettuces Salad with Dill Vinaigrette

You can make a creamy dressing without dairy of any kind, thanks to a whole soft-boiled egg...


Bon Appétit's Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Dressing
Bon Appétit's Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Dressing

…or stale bread!


Allen Miglore's Caesar Salad
Allen Miglore's Caesar Salad

Caesar salad can skip the egg and add balsamic vinegar (what?) and still be Caesar.


Waiter, there's ____ in my salad!

The Silver Palate's Turkey Hash Salad
The Silver Palate's Turkey Hash Salad

Whole garlic cloves, tamed in boiling water, then sizzled in bacon fat!


Jessica Koslow's Crispy Brown Rice "Kabbouleh"
Jessica Koslow's Crispy Brown Rice "Kabbouleh"

Crispy brown rice!


Northern Spy's Kale Salad
Northern Spy's Kale Salad

Two kinds of cheese!


Peter Miller's Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil
Peter Miller's Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil

A cup of Greek yogurt!


Lettuce can take the heat.

Cesare Casella's Pontormo Salad with Pancetta and Egg
Cesare Casella's Pontormo Salad with Pancetta and Egg

You can dump scrambled eggs and hot pancetta dressing over a salad and it won't upset the lettuce. Or maybe it will, and that's the best part.


Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's Luang Prabang Fusion Salad
Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's Luang Prabang Fusion Salad

Same deal with sizzling ground pork, vinegar, and mashed hard-cooked egg yolks.


Lettuce? We don't need no stinking lettuce.

Moro's Warm Squash & Chickpea Salad with Tahini
Moro's Warm Squash & Chickpea Salad with Tahini

Roasted squash, chickpeas, and tahini dressing will do.


Molly Stevens' Roasted Fennel, Red Onion, and Orange Salad
Molly Stevens' Roasted Fennel, Red Onion, and Orange Salad

Or roasted orange segments, peel and all.

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]. Thanks to Contributors Editor Sarah Jampel for the nudge to gather these up!

The Genius Recipes cookbook is here—and a New York Times Best Seller! It's a mix of greatest hits from the column and unpublished new favorites—all told, over 100 recipes that will change the way you cook. It's on shelves now, or you can order your copy here.