A Winter Salad bursting with sweet earthy flavours of blackberries, pears and walnuts. Then topped with some salty feta cheese and a tangy Meyer lemon vinaigrette. A vibrant salad to chase those winter blues away!
I love salad and eat one almost every day for lunch with a little chicken on the side. To have that many salads in a year the only way to keep the love alive is to make things new and exciting. You can say that for a bunch of things. Wink Wink.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to a salad but it is really easy to fall into the rut of making chicken salad, with balsamic every day. Or if I am feeling fancy I have been known to swap the chicken for tuna and throw in some exciting cucumbers. Incredible I know!
I find the trick is to try and incorporate fresh winter fruits, nuts and then add a little zing with a new tangy dressing and some cheese. A recipe for success every time. And since seasonal fruits and veggies change throughout the year with this formula you can have a new salad recipe at your fingertips with each new season.
Raw baby spinach is great in salads with its light and green flavour and pairs fantastically with berries and fruits. Full-grown spinach is much tougher and more pungent so stick with baby spinach in salads if you can. If you don’t have baby spinach available arugula will work well too. To balance out the sweetness of the fruit a nice tangy vinaigrette is a must!
Using fruit that is in season is always best and since this is a winter salad pear, blood oranges, oranges, ruby red grapefruit, pomegranates and apples all work well in salads during the winter. I know blackberries are technically a summer fruit but they are everywhere this time of year and super easy to find for some reason so I consider them a winter fruit as well. They have a slightly sweet taste to them sort of like a black grape.
In terms of pears, I recommend going with Bosc pears. You will know them when you see them because they have a long slender neck and brown skin. I like to use these pears over Barlett because they are always the sweetest.
I have paired this salad with a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. If you have never tried a Meyer lemon you are in for a real treat. Meyer Lemons are smaller than a regular lemon and a little sweeter. They are right in the middle of a lemon and a clementine. The acid from the Meyer lemons combined with the sweetness of the pear and blackberries works perfectly!
If you can’t find Meyer lemons don’t fret. You can use regular lemons too. I would just add a little extra honey to taste to compensate for the fact that regular lemons are a little more bitter than a Meyer lemon.
This Pomegranate Vinaigrette is another one of my favourite tangy dressings that will work well with a spinach and fruit salad.
Salt in any meal brings out the flavour so adding a little feta, a saltier cheese, makes this salad sing! Goat cheese or blue cheese like Roquefort or Gorgonzola work well too.
More salad recipes to try
- Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad
- Fattoush Salad
- Asian Cucumber Salad
- Cranberry and Apple Brussel Sprout Salad
Winter Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Medium jar bowl with a lid that seals tightly
- 2 1/2 cups baby spinach washed and dried
- 1/2 cup blackberries (1/4 lb) rinsed
- 1/4 cup walnut halves
- 2 tbsp feta cheese
- 1 Bosc pear washed, thinly sliced, core and stem removed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 Meyer lemons juiced, seeds removed (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 tsp graining Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Add baby spinach, blackberries, pear, walnuts and feta to a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium jar or bowl add the olive oil, Meyer lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Seal the container tightly with a lid and shake to combine. Pour liberally over salad or serve on the side.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How To Make Butter Smothered Green Beans & Cashews Story.