Here’s what the last weekish of my life looked like: a cheese plate, another cheese plate, an eight-pound ham, the crispiest potatoes, the creamiest kale gratin, all the cookies, 87 dumplings (I kid—or do I?), mapo tofu, fried rice, more cookies, furikake chex mix, so much pizza. Oh, and did I mention the wine and bubbly to go with?
All of which to say—the end of 2018 has been good. But sometime soon, you know, after I’ve eaten all these cheesy leftovers, I’m going to crave a—what’s the word again?—salad.
If you’re picturing something lean and remorseful, don’t. These salads aren’t about feeling badly about anything—just about feeling good, period. When that vegetable craving finally strikes (I’m guessing in, like, 19 hours), here’s my to-make wishlist. Most are substantial enough to be a meal on their own, but feel free to add a protein—chicken breast, salmon fillet, fried egg, etc.—to any.
No wilting here. Shaved Brussel sprouts stay crisp no matter how much dressing you add (and, as far as I'm concerned, too much Caesar dressing is not a thing).
Radicchio is a love-it-or-hate-it vegetable—and I love it. But, for those who feel otherwise, this cheesy vinaigrette, plus a couple smarty-pants recipe tricks, will change their minds.
This recipe won our Your Best Recipe With Apples contest, and for good reason: the apples and fennel are caramelized, the goat cheese is creamy, the hazelnuts are toasted, and the dressing is lemony. Okay, okay, that's four reasons.
Who said salads need to be green? Not us! This one is mostly purple (from delightfully bitter radicchio) and orange (from sweet, roasted carrots) and mighty pretty, if we do say so ourselves.
Have you ever tried sautéing dates? You should. Especially if you add them to this number with chewy wheat berries, roasted squash, and funky blue cheese.
File under: really want with a fried egg on top. This recipe from Smitten Kitchen blogger Deb Perelman was one of the top 10 Genius Recipes of 2018. You'll just have to make it to see why.
You had me at bagna cauda. This hot dip hails from Italy and is all about anchovies and garlic, which both get along very well with bread, eggs, and avocados (I mean, who doesn't?).
I'd be happy eating this celery salad all by its lonesome. But, as our co-founder Amanda Hesser writes, it gets even better when piled on blue cheese–smothered toast: "What could make for a better lunch, really?"
What are your favorite wintry salads? Tell us the deets in the comments!