The Salad In Winter

After reading Regina Schrambling’s L.A. Times piece on winter salads last week, I was inspired to make this fennel, green apple and watercress salad from A Voce. There are many wonderful things about this salad, most of all the lemon zest: it makes it so zingy and bright you’ll forget it’s winter (as if the 80 degree weather hasn’t already done that.) I tweaked the salad and used arugula instead of watercress but that’s just because I’m lazy and pre-washed arugula is more user-friendly that dirty, sandy watercress that you have to wash yourself. Don’t skimp on the golden raisins, though, or the fresh Parmesan. I’m also proud of my restraint, here. I used the smallest amount of olive oil I could–usually I pour with a heavy hand–and it worked wonders. It’s a winter salad for the ages.

14 thoughts on “The Salad In Winter”

  1. That salad looks/sounds wonderful! I’m with you on lemon zest–it really brightens up anything with a lively freshness. Sometimes I’ll toss freshly steamed green beans with a dot of butter and some lemon zest.

    I know you said you used the arugula out of laziness, but I think it was an excellent substitution. The nice peppery taste of arugula is hard to beat in a salad. In fact, just some arugula tossed with a simple vinaigrette is an easy, minimalist and delicious salad.

  2. Here is a link for my own winter salad creation: mesclun salad with mandarins, chevre, and pecans: . Hope you like it. BTW, that link to the LA Times is only available to registered users.

    Hey, it was not even 80ยบ weather here in SW Florida today. Highs in the 60s, but it was rainy and cold. Bad news for all the wine snobs at the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

  3. Don’t know why that link didn’t work. If this doesn’t show up , then please go to and click on salads. Sorry for the double-comment.

  4. Adam,

    I made this salad last night and found that it was way too lemony and I didn’t even use as much lemon as it called for. Maybe I didn’t have enough arugula? I don’t know how much arugula is in a bunch. They sell it in plastic clamshell boxes in my market.

  5. I love fennel with green apple. I like it even naked without the rest of the stuff, and just a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of kosher salt, and a drizzle of the best extra virgin olive oil that you can get your hands on (one that tastes like the fruit of the olive when you sip it). I usually add just a tiny bit of fresh chive or flat leaf parsley. It’s great as a side with osso bucco or any braised meat. I find the smaller the fennel bulb, and the newer the fennel bulb, the better the salad.

  6. The chili looks pretty good indeed. though I’d suggest caution if using chipotle from anyone but Goya, as you did.

    I found out the hard way that most of Goya’s offerings are more in the Puerto Rican tradition. (i.e. more taste, less heat.)

    I use beer in my chili as well, but generally I use Ziegen Bach (only available in Texas, sorry)

  7. I made this salad for a brunch this weekend, got rave reviews, woo! I used baby spinach instead of arugula, and didn’t bother soaking the raisins. Delish!

  8. There are a lot of different interesting winter salad. You shoudl try some wonderfull endive salad with some nuts and all the differents kind of winter salad too.

    You can also use smoked fish like herring, truit and such lovely things full of omega 3.

    i really love vinaigrette in winter salad because i dare to make them rich with some honey, great wine or cider vinaiger and lovely nuts oil

  9. I made a fennel salad last night with green apple, radishes and grapefruit, with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. Not bad, but the next time, I’ll omit the grapefruit.

    I love the sound of your version with the water cress. I’ll definitely give it a try.

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