The ultimate winter salad of golden beetroots, Autumn pears, on a bed of red leaf lettuce, fresh herbs, Gorgonzola and moon grapes sprinkled with pistachios is a celebration of the delicacies that are harvested in Autumn and winter months.
Cooler weather brings to life those hearty fruits and vegetables that don’t prefer the heat. Cabbage, kale, cauliflower and many types of lettuce scream for sunglasses in the dead of summer. Come Autumn or even winter months, these healthy salad choices simply showoff!
Ever try to find a ripe pear in July? Exactly! Pears and apples are in abundance in the cooler months at the end of the year. A ripe pear, with its delicate flavor, is absolutely scrumptious with sharp cheeses, or vinegar salad dressings.
I love making this salad for holiday celebrations mostly because it is most unexpected. Anjou pears, both red or green, as well as Bartlett pears have the most perfect skin in the cooler months. Their texture and flavor blend beautifully with a salad of many ingredients.
There is something rather humble about the beet root. It isn’t the prettiest vegetable at the market, but once they are peeled, sliced and slightly blanched their color and flavor becomes so vibrant you will wonder why you don’t eat them more often.
Roasted, baked, boiled or juiced, the beet root, both gold and red, is crazy abundant with nutrients to help see you through the cold and flu season of the colder months. Perhaps that is why they make their appearance at that time of year.
For this winter salad, I chose to roast the golden beets, peel and slice them across this lovely salad of many colors and textures. I chose the golden beets simply because I didn’t want the red beets to stain the delicate pears.
Easy Salad Dressing
The easiest salad dressing is already in your fridge or pantry: vinegar and olive oil. Squeeze in some freshly crushed garlic and give it a shake and you have the salad dressing most used all over the Mediterranean.
Colorful Healthy Winter Salads
While kale or arugula make for a popular leafy green for a winter salad, I chose the red tip hearty lettuce for this salad since it has a huge water content in it. I don’t know about you but having the heat on in the winter dries me out, both inside and out, so the hydration of this lettuce was perfect.
Layering wintertime fruits and vegetables on a winter salad isn’t where the deliciousness ends. Toss those crunchy green pistachios on top. Sprinkle chunky cheeses such as a blue cheese or a feta. The saltiness of the cheese blends beautifully with the sweet of the pears and beets.
Don’t forget grapes! Grapes spend all summer growing, only to be harvested at the end of summer when many other fruits have had their turn of attention. Green, red or black, sliced in half are such a treat on a salad.
This salad is missing only one thing; bread. For the holidays, this salad is served alongside many of my holiday favorites with a loaf of Beetroot and Spinach yeast bread!
- Red leaf lettuce
- Golden beets
- Red pears
- Green pears
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs
- A long platter
- Sharp slicing knife
- Cutting board
Not sure why we generally stop thinking about salads once Autumn arrives, but this Autumn and Winter Pear Beet Root Salad is one to remember.
The earthier salad selections, such as beets, on a bed of greens, balanced with perfectly ripe seasonal pears, freshly harvested grapes, the tangy bite of blue cheese and the crunch of pistachios, will make salad in the Autumn or Winter, a new favorite show stopper!
An Autumn Pear Salad to RememberCourse: Salads and VeggiesCuisine: Mediterranean
Golden beet roots, Anjou pears, on a bed of red leaf lettuce, fresh herbs, Gorgonzola and moon grapes sprinkled with pistachios and a drizzle of apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
Golden Beets – 2 small roasted (Wash beets, roast in a 350 degrees oven for 30 minutes. Keep skins on until ready or it will turn black fast)
Red Pear – 1
Green Pear – 1
Lemon – 1
Moon Grapes or any variety – 20, washed and cut in half
Pistachios – 2 tablespoons
Kale or Red Top Lettuce – about 6 leaves, washed and thick stems removed
Garlic – 1 clove, crushed
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Fresh herbs – Several sprigs, Marjoram Thyme or Oregano
Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese – 2 oz
- In a small bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar, olive oil and garlic. Set aside at room temp.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into a flat bowl. Core and slice the pears 1/4 inch thick and quick toss those in the lemon juice. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Peel the roasted beets, slice about 1/4 inch thick and toss into the lemon juice to retain their color. Remove beets, one at a time, and set on a plate or parchment paper.
- On two separate plates, arrange leaves of greens down first. Arrange the beets and pears on top of the greens. Sprinkle a bit of salt as you like.
- Place the grapes nicely, sprinkle the pistachios and crumble the cheese on top.
- Gentled cover and set aside until ready to serve. Can be done 30 minutes before.
- Just before serving, drizzle the Salad Dressing across each salad with a spoon.