winter salad with apple, pepitas, sunflower seeds

winter salad with applesWHAT TO PUT IN THE SALAD when the garden’s resting, politely refusing to offer up accompaniments like peapods or tomatoes, peppers or cukes? An apple and some pumpkin and sunflower seeds lend a pile of tender greens some crunch, and contrasted against a dressing with just the slightest kick: success! An easy offseason salad that feels special enough for the holiday table, but also just right when it’s lunchtime, and just me.

winter salad, with apple, pepitas and pumpkin seeds

How much dressing-to-greens you like is up to you. Make a cupful and use it through the week, or simply whisk small amounts of the basic ingredients to taste in the bottom of a large-enough-for-tossing bowl, and whisk before adding greens and the rest.

for 1 cup of dressing

  • large clove of raw garlic, grated (2 teaspoons of grated shallot can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • ¼ cup vinegar, a combination of red wine vinegar and balsamic
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the salad

  • raw pumpkin seeds
  • raw sunflower seeds
  • crisp, not-too-sweet apple, sliced
  • mixed greens


  • In a jar or bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, and shake or whisk till combined.
  • Refrigerate any leftover dressing in a closed jar and use within the week.
  • To prepare the salad, put greens in a bowl and toss to coat lightly with the dressing.
  • Add the apples and seeds, and toss again.

salad ingredients

add-ons and tips

  • A little crumbled bleu cheese could be added to the dressing.
  • Prefer a nuttier taste? Pan-roast the pepitas lightly on a baking sheet.
  • I keep a canning jar of each kind of seeds in the freezer, so they are always fresh-tasting.

vinaigrette ingredients

What’s your favorite fall-into-winter salad, and do you have salad with your holiday meal?

  1. Shawn says:

    My favorite winters salad is a spinach salad with red onion, chopped navel oranges, pomegranate seeds, sometimes avocado, with a French oil/ vinegar dressing. We always have a salad with our holiday meal, usually coleslaw with a boiled dressing. This year we had both of these.

  2. Dahlink says:

    We enjoy mâche this time of year, alone or mixed with other greens, and lightly dressed. We’ve had no luck growing it ourselves, however.

  3. Susan Gilmour says:

    Waldorf: apple, celery, nuts(whatever you have on hand)and greens with this dressing: 1 tbsp yogurt, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp honey and 1/2 tsp curry(your favorite!). I sometimes use mayo instead of the olive oil for a change.

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