Can we just do away with the clouds for a minute? Like just for an hour? Please? My body’s vitamin D level is critically low. Skin, translucent. If you’re like me, you’re in need of a winter salad that will brighten up a dull day and help you remember that summer will come. Eventually.
Also, if you are in LA or Phoenix or some other sunshine-y, warm climate, I do NOT want to hear it!
winter salad components
This bright winter salad is packed with colorful, winter veg, roasted squash, hearty bulgar, feta, avocado, toasted pecans and the most delicious herby, buttermilk dressing that is not ranch (TBH tho, I have a thing for ranch dressing 🙈). And it take only 30 minutes to make!
The roasted kabocha squash gets caramelized in the oven, having the bite of a sweet potato. Tossed together with vibrant, red cabbage and arugula you have a trifecta that is both comforting and healthy. But like, there’s still feta and avocado. So don’t worry, it’s FAR from a boring winter salad.
The texture of this winter salad is filled with the crunch of pecans and cabbage along with the creaminess of avocado and feta. The buttermilk dressing is bulked up with hearty winter herbs and a citrus zing. Bulgur gives this salad volume and depth that will keep you full and satisfied.
I have a serious crush on this winter salad.
I am not exaggerating. Throw your diced squash (if you’re feeling lazy, you can leave the skin on kabocha or buttercup squash) in the oven for 30 minutes. While you wait for the squash to get perfectly tender and crisp, chop your cabbage, shake together dressing ingredients, crumble some feta and slice an avocado. Toast your pecans in the oven for 5 minutes. Throw everything plus arugula in a bowl. Devour
This winter salad recipe is made for 2 people but you can easily multiply it to serve more. It is a perfect lunch dish but also is hearty enough to eat for dinner.
The nutrition facts below don’t show you how packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron and healthy monounsaturated fats this winter salad has. It is a great vitamin jolt when the winter has got you in the slumps.
If you’re gluten free, quinoa is a great substitute for the bulgur wheat. On a low-carb, protein kick? Throw a piece of chicken in the oven with your squash and ditch the bulgur. If you’re vegan, skip the feta and add extra avocado. Use 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar mixed with 1/4 cup almond milk to substitute the buttermilk.
Winter salad to get you out of the winter slumps, for e’erbody.
Also, taking donations for plane tickets to anywhere sunny.
Second also, thanks to Pinch of Yum for converting me to all the bowl food.
When you try my winter salad, let me know! Rate the recipe and share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Use the hashtag #popkitchen when you post photos of recipes you’ve made to your Instagram and tag @pop_kitch. I’ll share my favorite photos on Pop Kitchen’s account.
- 2 cups kabocha squash***, cubed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- ½ cup bulgur wheat
- ¼ cup pecans
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ an avocado
- ⅓ cup feta, crumbled
- ¼ buttermilk *(see notes if you don't want to buy a big carton)
- 2 tsp lemon zest (pro tip: zest your lemon before you cut it to juice it)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, a little over half a lemon
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise (vegannaise if vegan)
- 2 tsp chives, finely chopped
- 2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- Put on Angel Olsen's album, "My Woman". It has all the winter vibes. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Put on a kettle of at least 2 cups water to boil. Toss squash with olive and salt on a baking sheet. When the oven is ready, bake for 30 minutes, flipping squash halfway.
- In a medium size bowl, add your bulgur wheat with 2 cups of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Let sit 15 minutes. Drain excess water and set aside.
- On a small sheet pan or cake pan add your pecans. Throw them in the oven for 4 minutes. Don't put them on the bottom rack. Burnt nuts are...not good.
- Put all ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar or other shakeable container. Shake it up (this saves on having to clean a whisk). Taste to adjust salt or lemoniness.
- Chop cabbage, slice avocado, and crumble feta.
- Build your bowl using a ½ cup of bulgur on the bottom. Put the other toppings in a nice little arrangement. Drizzle each salad with half the dressing. Take a photo and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #popkitchen and tagging @stacyfeyersalo. Now you can mix it all together into a less sexy looking bundle of winter sunshine.
**If you're interested in the vitamin DV percentages, here they are:
vitamin A- 120%, vitamin C- 92.8%, Calcium- 27.6%, Iron- 32.2%
***I chose kabocha squash because it is the most nutty and savory of the squashes. I love how similar it is to sweet potato but less carbs. You can substitute other squashes like butternut or acorn. Just make sure you peel them first.