Winter Salad Ideas That Will Have You Going CRUNCH

Who doesn't enjoy a fresh salad, bursting with a variety of ingredients and a lively dressing? Salads are a mainstay in my family...we love a good salad. I've learned over the years to use what's in season, mix it up with some untraditional ingredients and to keep the dressing minimal. And some of the ingredients you received in subscription produce boxes or from an error on an Instacart order, do not have to be tossed. There are delicious ways to use these foods.

A deconstructed chicken salad with greens, red cabbage, red peppers, sliced grapes, almonds and parmesan cheese.

Tips for Making a Restaurant Quality Salad

 Pat's Favorite Vinagrette

I make small jars of vinaigrette (this isn't a magic recipe, there are tons online) to keep in my fridge--it also serves as a delicious marinade or dipping sauce:
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp finely minced garlic /shallots
3 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Vigorously whisk together mustard, garlic/shallots and vinegar together until well blended in a small bowl. Slowly stream in olive oil until emulsified. Keep whisking. Salt and pepper to your taste.
Cooks Notes: I will occasionally substitute lemon/lime/orange juice for the vinegar. This is wonderful over a salad of orange sections, roast beets and goat cheese.



Fresh parsley, when tossed with halved cherry tomatoes, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper makes a delicious addition to a tossed green salad. You can also roast this on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes to intensify the tomato flavors.

A pan of roasted vegetables can be your best meal idea. Cut vegetables of your choice into equal sized pieces (they’ll cook more evenly) and place pan large rimmed sheet pan or in a roasting pan. Drizzle a few teaspoons of olive oil, 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to coat veggies. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Add fresh chopped parsley, basil or other herbs to your taste. Cool. Place in a container and refrigerate. You can use these veggies in sauces, tossed with pasta, chopped into salads or stuffed in a pita pocket with greens, feta cheese and hummus for a Mediterranean salad pocket meal. Veggies that have seen better days in your fridge work well by roasting.

And, yes you can sprinkle Pat's Granola on a salad, in place of croutons. Think of it as a crunchy addition to a mix of greens, sliced oranges, feta or goat cheese and a citrusy vinaigrette. Check out a previous post on ways to enjoy our granola. Granola on Salads

More salad ideas at Best Winter Salad Recipes.


Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food company. Pat's Granola is sold online at and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:

Troubadour Coffee Roasters

Sports and Spine Physical Therapy

Local Flavors Shoppe

Rittman Orchards and Farm Market

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Locle Box

Market Wagon Northeast Ohio

Made Cleveland

Mister Brisket



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published