eating salad, even in the winter

apple, fennel and celery salad
Apple, fennel and celery salad

Outside the window the sun just broke through the clouds that only a few moments ago were scattering snow like powdered sugar on a doughnut. The late afternoon sun creates interesting light play in the living room.

While I try to scribble out this post, chicken and vegetables are simmering. My house smells of herbs, root vegetables and chicken; the beginning of soup, which is good for whatever ails you, including an unrequited love affair with more snow.

Now, you’re thinking, oh, she’s going to write about said pot of chicken soup and some secret tip for transforming the ubiquitous brew into something of legends. Au contraire my friends, this blog is about a lovely little winter salad that has captured my gastronomic heart.

Tokyo Rose apples from a farm in Hood River. Available in the fall, they have very white, crisp, sweet interior.
Tokyo Rose apples from a farm in Hood River. Available in the fall, they have very white, crisp, sweet interior.

Winter salads differ vastly from their summer cousins that are loaded with just-picked greens, tomatoes and tender cukes. While those noshes are available year round, they’re not quite the same as when they are in season. The salads we end up dining on when days are dark and dormant have sturdier, storable ingredients like carrots, broccoli or Brussels sprouts.

Often, at our house, these vegetables are roasted for that whole cold/hot salad tango.

Apples and celery have a long standing friendship (Waldorf Salad) that gained notoriety at the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Take those two ingredients as a starting point, remove the thick mayo dressing, add slivered fennel, lightly dress the mix with olive oil, salt and pepper. Top it all with goat cheese or shaved Parmesan.

Better than traditional Waldorf salad, sans mayo
Better than traditional Waldorf salad, sans mayo

Trust me, it’s fabulous!

Note: For two side salads, I used two medium apples, four stalks of celery and one fist-sized fennel bulb. Cut, chop and slice the fruit and vegetables into bite-manageable pieces. Arrange on salad plates, dress and season as mentioned above. A nice touch is to save some of the feathery fronds from the fennel as a pretty green garnish.

Happy Eating –



10 thoughts on “eating salad, even in the winter

  1. Winter salads are not something I’m all too familiar with. That is a great combo, apple and celery – bit of sweet, and bit of bland to balance out the flavours. But you are right. Salads can be eaten anytime of the year. Broccoli is one of my favourite foods and I like it with any meal, along with mushrooms which I think you can get all year round too. Would love mushrooms in my salad but to be honest, have not seen that around here in Australia. I could try it at home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mabel! Broccoli makes a great salad as well! I like to add bits of bacon, some red onion and dried cranberries or golden raisins. It’s the same sort of sweet/salty idea. Do you have some special ideas for broccoli or mushrooms? Also, thanks for reading and offering your thoughts!


    1. Hey Sabine! I’m not big on traditional Waldorf either, way too much mayo! But, that’s how many salads used to be prepared. I’m much happier with today’s fresher versions. You should post your German potato salad sometime!

      Liked by 1 person

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