When people tell us they don’t believe in winter salads, we can’t help but disagree.
Yes, we know it’s a rarity to, like us here in California, have a farmers market where you can get fresh ingredients year-round and where the words “winter salad” don’t sound like an oxymoron.
But even if you don’t live in California, there are some wintry ingredients that make great salads like our favorite Italian-inspired Celery And Walnut Salad or this Charred Citrus And Escarole Salad with Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe.
Made with under-appreciated winter green escarole, an abundance of winter citrus, and an eat-it-off-the-spoon good citrus honey rosemary dressing, this will change your opinion on eating salads when it’s snowing outside!
Oh, and, if you need some ideas for what to serve this winter salad with, check out our polenta party menu that’s chock full of comforting but healthy Italian-inspired winter recipes.
Escarole and Mandarin Salad with Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
For The Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1/3 cup balsamic or sherry vinegar
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For The Escarole Salad:
- 8 mandarin oranges halved
- Pinch granulated sugar
- 2 heads escarole lettuce or butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 handful toasted sliced almonds for garnish
- Make The Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette: Coarsely crush or chop rosemary and place in a small saucepan. Add honey and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, and salt in a large bowl until combined.Discard the rosemary and add the honey to the olive oil mixture, whisk to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper. TIP: Dressing can be made up to 4 days ahead of time.
- Broil The Mandarins Meanwhile, heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack 6 inches from the broiler. Place the halved mandarins on a parchment-lined rimmed sheet and top with a sprinkle of sugar (this isn't to make them sweeter but to help them brown). Place mandarins under the broiler and, watching carefully, broil until blistered and browned.
- Serve The Salad: To serve, add the escarole to the dressing and toss well to coat. Serve the salad topped with oranges and sprinkled with almonds. Have your guests squeeze the mandarins over the top of their salad or eat the fruit from the skin directly.