In Season

Salad Days: Keep Fresh, Green Veggies On Your Plate All Winter

By Tara Swartzendruber-Landis / Photography By D. Lucas Landis | December 15, 2014
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Fresh greens are a wonderful way to bring a fresh bite to the winter plate as well as a lighter way to eat around the holiday feasting season. Head to the market in the winter months and you will find kale, spinach, salad mix, romaine, bok choy, arugula and other fantastic varieties to liven up any winter brunch, lunch or dinner.

How to buy: Greens should be fresh looking, not wilted, and should smell fresh.

How to store: Take greens home and wash them thoroughly. Remove any wilted or decaying leaves. Dry them well. Store them covered. Greens should keep in the refrigerator for several days to a week. 

Greens pair well with: anchovies, apples, bacon, basil, beets, black pepper, blueberries, cheese, chilies, coriander, corn, croutons, curry, Dijon mustard, eggs, fennel, garlic, ginger, green beans, green onions, ham, leeks, legumes, lemon juice, mushrooms, nuts, oil (olive, nut or sesame), oregano, parsley, pasta, peaches, pears, potatoes, red onion, sage, salt, seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), strawberries, sweet potatoes, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar.

Hints for a making a great salad:

• Think about your toppings and vinaigrette selection when you select your greens. Very delicate greens (such as a microgreen mix or very tender spring mix) will need very little dressing— a light vinaigrette may be all they need. Heartier greens like kale or spinach can stand up to nuts, cheese, beans, olives and protein.
• Make sure that greens are well washed and dried. Grit can ruin a good salad and dressing does not adhere well to wet greens.
• Dress the salad right before it heads to the table. Too far ahead of time and the leaves will begin to wilt. (One exception is kale, which can be dressed in advance.)
• Get your hands dirty! Salad is fantastic to dress with clean, bare hands. Th is is a great way to make sure the dressing is evenly distributed.
• Taste a few leaves after dressing. Add a pinch of salt if needed and toss again. Th is last step will take your salads to a whole new level.

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