Fruit is at its peak in the winter. Yes, you read that right. Besides the last of the apples and pears, there’s an abundance of citrus, tropical fruits, pomegranates, and more. So banish the idea that fruit can be enjoyed only when it’s spring or summer, and brighten your days with a winter salad, a feast for the eyes and taste buds, with fruit as the focal point.
Shorter days and cold winds make us long for sunshine and vitamin C. Fortunately, citrus fruits are plentiful right now, and my orange, grapefruit, and clementine salad takes full advantage. With subtle Moroccan spices, crisp celery, a sprinkling of creamy goat cheese, and lightly salted pistachios, this salad will brighten any winter day. Serve it as a side with hot oatmeal for breakfast or with roasted meat or fish for dinner. To make it more of a main for lunch, pile over sturdy spinach or romaine. And don’t skip the homemade candied kumquats. The resulting syrup is like liquid gold; you can drizzle it in drinks, over oatmeal, or even on sponge cake.
While coleslaw feels summery, I love my winter version with charred red cabbage tossed with diced pear brightened with orange zest in a lightly brandied balsamic dressing. It gets even better as it sits. Serve it with chicken, or top it with a soft-boiled egg for a hearty breakfast.
Craving warmer climes? A tropical fruit salad will satisfy you. It features a quick coconut granola made on the stovetop, and coconut-rum-spiked yogurt sauce for drizzling over a pineapple, banana, kiwi, avocado, and mango salad. It makes the perfect, colorful centerpiece for a special winter breakfast or brunch.
Crisp, juicy Asian pear slices and ruby red pomegranate seeds add sweetness and crunch to an updated Cobb salad. Fruit and bacon sit atop a generous amount of romaine, with diced avocado, blanched green beans, chickpeas, and a lemon-poppyseed dressing that you mix up in a snap. It will almost—repeat almost—make you wish that winter could last forever.