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Winter Salad with Spiced Maple Vinaigrette

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

This salad combines favorite cold-weather flavors: maple, warming spices like clove and allspice, earthy root vegetables, and sharp Cheddar. Cabot Clothbound, an English-style Cheddar made in Vermont, is particularly good here.


For the vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbs. grade B pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole allspice berries
  • 1 small whole clove
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 5 oz. (5 packed cups) mesclun salad mix
  • 5 oz. head frisée, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small turnip
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small parsnip
  • 1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 4 oz. aged sharp Cheddar, crumbled

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 280
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 190
  • Fat (g): 22
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 300
  • Carbohydrates (g): 16
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 7


Make the vinaigrette

  • Combine the maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, clove, star anise, ginger, and 1 Tbs. water in a 1-quart saucepan. Simmer on medium-low heat to infuse the flavors and thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Whisk in the oil in a slow stream (it won’t emulsify), and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Make the salad

  • Combine the mesclun and frisée in a large bowl. Peel the turnip, carrot, and parsnip. Using the peeler, shave each into thin ribbons into the bowl. Add the sunflower seeds and half of the cheese. Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine, then toss the salad with enough to coat. Serve sprinkled with the remaining cheese.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • User avater
    dinnerbelle221 | 11/27/2020

    This recipe stays in my binder for frequent use in the Winter. Last night it went really well with our Thanksgiving Ham Dinner.

  • fortkcook | 12/02/2015

    Wow! This is really good. I made it exactly as written, including the Cabot clothbound, except that I used radicchio and escarole, and I added pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower and also threw in some dried cranberries. Lovely alternative to my usual salad rut.

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